THREE rural banks have merged to boost their financial stability, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

The merger of the three banks took effect on July 13 after receiving the needed regulatory approvals, according to a circular letter signed by BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier on Sept. 15.

These banks are Bangko Kabayan, Inc. (BK), First Agro-Industrial Rural Bank, Inc. (FAIR), and Progressive Bank, Inc. Undername Progressive A Rural Bank (PARBI).

The Securities and Exchange Commission registered the consolidation of the banks on July 13, with Bangko Kabayan as the surviving entity. BK is a subsidiary of Union Bank of the Philippines, Inc.

The assets and liabilities of PARBI and FAIR will be transferred to and absorbed by BK, the BSP said.

The Articles and Plan of Merger were executed on Dec. 27, 2021, while the Supplemental Articles of Merger were completed on June 15-16 this year.

In July, Bangko Kabayan said the Visayas Region will see an expanded array of banking products and services as a result of the merger.

“This merger represents an extraordinary opportunity to combine the strengths of Bangko Kabayan, FairBank, and Progressive Bank to create a financial institution that will drive economic growth, foster innovation, and support the financial well-being of our clients,” BK President and Chief Executive Officer Beatriz B. Romulo said.

Bangko Kabayan, formerly known as Ibaan Rural Bank, was established in 1957. It is a Batangas-based private development bank that aims to provide financial products and services to small businesses and individuals.

“The bank focuses on grassroots entrepreneurship to strengthen its presence in the mass market segment,” it said. — K.B. Ta-asan