There are different classifications of banks in the Philippines, namely universal banks, commercial banks, thrift banks, rural banks, cooperative banks, Islamic banks, government-owned banks, and other banks as may be classified by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Among this categorization, universal and commercial banks are the most famous ones.
Now let’s talk about what a universal bank is, and what its functions are.
Under the General Banking Law of 2000 (GBL), a universal bank is defined as a commercial bank with the additional authority to exercise the powers of an investment house. Universal banks can also invest in non-allied undertakings and can own up to 100% of the equity in a thrift bank, a rural bank, a financial allied enterprise, or a non-financial allied enterprise. In contrast, an ordinary commercial bank does not have that authority.
Early this year, Philippine Bank of Communications (PBCOM) has been granted by BSP the license to operate as universal bank. Now, we will be able to provide a much broader range of products and services to our clients.