The Union Bank of the Philippines, led by Philippine conglomerate Aboitiz Equity Ventures, said it’s setting aside approximately USD 10 million each year to invest in financial technologies, according to Filipino news site Inquirer.
Union Bank is looking to either incubate or buy into technologies that could be incorporated with financial services. The investment will be made through the bank’s wholly owned fintech and innovation arm, UBX Philippines Corp., which was incorporated late last year. Eventually, Union Bank hopes to build its own fintech investment holding firm.
The Philippines’ financial sector is dominated by banks, which also means a lack of innovation in terms of financial technologies, according to a recent study done by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies. The same study, “Financial sector development: A review” identifies the Philippines to be lagging behind other ASEAN member states in terms of developments in the financial sector.