United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) shareholders approved the planned merger with Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK), with the combined entity producing a bank with nearly P3 trillion in assets, LANDBANK said Friday.

Shareholders representing 97.2% of the outstanding capital stock of UCPB voted in favor of the merger of the two state-run banks during their Dec. 14 meeting, LANDBANK said in a statement.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte in June signed an executive order approving the merger, in which all assets and liabilities of UCPB will be transferred to LANDBANK.

The order noted that the banks both have a compatible development mission.

“Coconut farmers and other workers in the agricultural sector stand to benefit most from LANDBANK’s enhanced financial muscle, as evidenced by the Bank’s consistently growing agriculture lending from P222.05 billion in 2018, to P236.31 billion in 2019, and P237.62 billion in 2020,” LANDBANK said.

LANBANK’s net profit grew 21.2% year-on-year to P16.72 billion in the first nine months, with total assets growing 13.6% to 2.564 trillion.

“With this merger, we are looking forward to a stronger, more resilient and unified banking institution that will promote and broaden financial inclusion among Filipinos, especially those who belong to the underserved and unbanked sectors,” LANDBANK President and Chief Executive Officer Cecilia C. Borromeo said.

LANBANK said that deposits in both banks will remain intact and services will not be interrupted. — Jenina P. Ibañez