There is now a bank that will cater to the growing needs of modern-day heroes.
"OFW-first" Bank is one of Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte's presidential campaign promises. Soon, OFWs can have better access to financial products through the Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank), a state-owned bank that is under the government-run Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank). However, the bank is yet to service any customer.
According to Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, the country's Department of Finance (DOF) was ordered to expedite the process after the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), raised the issue this week. Panela further added that the bank will become fully operational and ready to service OFWs once the vacancies in the board of members have been filled.
With the Duterte administration wanting the OFW Bank to become live as soon as possible, what can overseas workers expect from this new platform and why should they consider becoming a customer of this state-owned bank?
In September 2017, President Duterte signed Executive Order No. 44, which basically transferred the shares of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank (PostBank), a subsidiary of the Philippine Postal Corporation and the Bureau of Treasury to Landbank at zero value.
As part of making financial products more accessible to overseas workers, Landbank is to facilitate the capitalization as its owner. The name also changed from PostBank to OFBank to signify its momentous shift in priority.
With OFBank positioning itself as an "OFW-first" financial institution, it will be in direct competition with other banks who created certain products for migrant workers. However, what sets apart the former from potential competitors is that its products are specifically designed for OFWs.
To understand this, you need to look at the board of members who will oversee the proper management of OFBank:
Since the Landbank's role in the bank is the proper management of its assets to sustain growth, the rest of the members can decide whether or not the products and services they're about to provide to OFWs will actually be beneficial for them.
Before the transition, it already had 31 branches all over the country, including its head office in Manila. However, no word yet if OFBank will retain all the branches it inherited from PostBank.
If you're an OFW and you would like to know if their products will work best for you, it's time to see their full list of financial products and see if any of them works for you. OFBank's products and services are as follows:
Although the bank has already released its lineup of products and services for OFWs, they are yet to announce more specific details of products like interest rates, maximum loanable amount, requirements, and other pieces of information. In the meanwhile, we have already prepared a list of banks currently serving the OFWs. We will bring you more information once OFBank becomes operational and they publish all pertinent information to allow users to discern whether or not they deserve the hard-earned cash of migrant workers. Subscribe here to be notified.