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Salmon to Own 60% of Rural Bank of Sta. Rosa (Laguna) Following BSP Approval

The Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Filipino regulator, has provided Salmon, the savings and investment fintech, with the approval to acquire the controlling interest in Rural Bank of Sta. Rosa (Laguna), a well-respected licensed financial institution serving Filipino communities since 1963.

The transaction has not been fully completed yet, but upon doing so in the next few weeks, Salmon will own 59.7 per cent of the bank. As a result, Salmon will be able to offer AI-centric consumer credit and debit products nationwide.

Raffy Montemayor, co-founder and business head in the Philippines at Salmon
Raffy Montemayor, co-founder and business head in the Philippines at Salmon

Raffy Montemayor, co-founder and business head in the Philippines at Salmon, commented: “We are excited to undertake this important next step in Salmon’s development and grateful for the continued support of the BSP and its vision of driving financial inclusion in the country.”

Becoming a licensed bank in a major market represents a significant milestone for both Salmon and the Philippines. Especially as Salmon joins only a handful of other fintech companies operating licensed banking institutions in Southeast Asia.

The deal will bolster access to modern banking services for millions of underserved and underbanked Filipinos in key regions. These include Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao, where Salmon plans to open new branches, subject to BSP approval.

Accelerating inclusive growth

The transaction also supports the Rural Bank Strengthening Program launched by the BSP in 2022 to enhance the country’s rural banking sector. It will also promote inclusive growth in order to address the changing needs of the dynamic, young and technologically savvy Filipino population.

Montemayor said: “The transaction will help us reach additional underserved communities in the Philippines, bringing modern, customer-centric and easy-to-access financial services to more people, regardless of smartphone ownership or customer location as we combine offline and online settings for providing our services.

“This transaction aligns seamlessly with our mission and values to expand financial inclusion and offer modern financial products to every Filipino, and we look forward to continuing our productive cooperation with the BSP to help us fulfill this mission.

“We are proud of the fantastic relationship we have developed with the executive team of the Rural Bank of Sta. Rosa (Laguna), and look forward to building a robust financial institution together to continue serving communities across the Philippines.”

Salmon will maintain and enhance the bank’s offline presence. It will inject significant capital and technology into the bank to upgrade its offering for all customers. Salmon’s products and services, strongly appreciated by its existing customers, will extend across all channels, including offline.

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