November 2, 2022 Bank of Commerce (BankCom), an affiliate of San Miguel Corporation (SMC), has been conferred the authority to operate as the latest universal bank in the Philippines. The bank received the formal certificate of authority as a universal bank in a ceremony led by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor Felipe M. Medalla and attended by Monetary Board member Antonio S. Abacan, Jr., BSP deputy governor Chuchi G. Fonacier, BankCom chairman Amb. Francis C. Chua, BankCom chairman of advisory board Jose T. Pardo, and BankCom president and CEO Michelangelo R. Aguilar. Following its change of status to a universal bank from a commercial bank, BankCom is setting its sights on further boosting its lending portfolio to support local businesses—particularly the small to medium enterprises—to help propel activities driving the country’s economic growth. This is in line with the recent approval of the Bank’s Board of Directors on the reallocation of the remaining P940 Million from its Initial Public Offering (IPO) proceeds for lending activities beginning in the 4th quarter of 2022 as its previously disclosed IT investments will now be funded by its increased revenue streams. “As a universal bank, BankCom will strengthen its presence in the domestic market and deepen its relationship with clients through a broader range of financial solutions by being able to generate and warehouse interest-bearing assets such as marketable securities, and offer more investment banking products and services,” said BankCom president and CEO Michelangelo R. Aguilar. “SMC has continued to invest in major initiatives that will serve the current and future needs of various sectors and industries that continue to grow, despite the challenges of the pandemic. This upgrade of Bank of Commerce means there will now be another major player in the banking sector that can help push SMEs and companies pursue their growth targets and long-term goals,” said SMC president and CEO Ramon S. Ang. BankCom posted a net income of P886.91 million for the six months ended 30 June 2022, an increase of 290% compared to the P304.37 million from the same period last year. Second quarter net income of P526.32 million is 45.96% higher than the P360.59 million in the previous quarter this year. The increase was mainly spearheaded by growth in the bank’s core business (net interest income and service charges, fees and commissions). With the recent achievement by BankCom, SMC’s banking arm is on track to reach its growth targets enabling valued clients to likewise achieve growth and financial goals through the Bank’s wider array of product offerings and services.