Ayala Group-backed Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is set to merge with Gokongwei Group-owned Robinsons Bank in a bid to create a leading bank based on market capitalisation.

BPI will acquire Robinsons Bank from JG Summit and Robinsons Retail, who will collectively own around a 6% stake in the combined entity, for an undisclosed sum.

The deal is anticipated to complete by the end of 2023 with BPI as the surviving entity.

According to the official statement, the rationale behind the merger is to “unlock various synergies” across the products and service platforms, while expanding the customer and deposit base of the merged entity.

Robinsons Bank serves clients across corporate, commercial, and retail segments via its 189 branches and branch-lite units, 354 ATMs, and online banking channels.

As of 30 June 2022, Robinsons Bank’s total assets stood at PHP175.9bn ($2.9bn), with PHP102.4bn in net loans and receivables and deposits of PHP139bn.

BPI president and CEO Jose Teodoro Limcaoco said: “We are excited about this transaction and believe that this merger exemplifies BPI’s strategic effort to expand its client base, accelerate growth, and ultimately increase shareholder value through partnerships with the Gokongwei Group.

“Together, we aim to maintain quality banking services and offer additional best-in-class and innovative products to our expanded client base. We are also keen on strengthening our ties with the Gokongwei Group even more through various collaboration opportunities across the Gokongwei Group’s vast ecosystem.”

JG Summit president and CEO Lance Gokongwei said: “We believe that merging Robinsons Bank with BPI, which is one of the strongest and most profitable banks in the country, is the best path forward.

“This will give our customers access to a fuller range of banking products and services as the combined organisation will leverage on ecosystems of both the Gokongwei and Ayala Groups.”