Salmon, a financial technology company working to improve access to credit, savings and investments for over 500 million underserved customers in Southeast Asia, has received regulatory approval from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to acquire the controlling interest in Rural Bank of Sta. Rosa (Laguna), a licensed financial institution serving Filipino communities since 1963.
Salmon will own 59.7% of the bank upon the completion of this transaction, which will conclude in the coming weeks. The bank’s license and its geographic footprint will enable Salmon to offer AI-centric consumer credit and debit products nationwide.
The acquisition of the bank will boost Philippine fintech innovation in several ways. First, it will expand Salmon’s reach and customer base, as the company operates both in offline and online settings, differentiating itself by emphasizing stellar customer service with 92% of the company’s clients saying they would recommend Salmon to friends and family.
Second, it will enhance Salmon’s product offerings and features, as the company leverages its cloud-based technology and data analytics to provide personalized and accessible financial services to its customers, regardless of smartphone ownership or customer location. Third, it will support the BSP’s vision and initiatives to drive financial inclusion and digital transformation in the country, as the acquisition aligns with the Rural Bank Strengthening Program launched by the BSP in 2022 and the Digital Payment Transformation Roadmap for 2020 to 2023.
Salmon’s bank acquisition is a significant milestone for both the company and the Philippines, 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 including Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao, where Salmon plans to open new branches, subject to BSP approval.
The deal will also foster a culture of trust and confidence among the public and the users of fintech, as Salmon adheres to the highest standards of security and compliance. Salmon’s co-founder and business head in the Philippines, Raffy Montemayor, said that the company’s mission and values are to expand financial inclusion and offer modern financial products to every Filipino, and that the company looks forward to continuing its productive cooperation with the BSP to help fulfill this mission.