UNION BANK of the Philippines, Inc. (UnionBank) has received approval from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to operate as a virtual asset service provider (VASP), letting customers buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through its mobile app.
The new feature will be gradually introduced next quarter and will make UnionBank the first and only universal bank to offer virtual asset exchange services, the Aboitiz-led bank said in a statement on Tuesday.
“This milestone represents a significant leap forward for UnionBank as we continue to revolutionize the banking landscape. By obtaining this license, we are not only paving the way for even more groundbreaking opportunities, but also enhancing our digital capabilities and further transforming the way our customers interact with us,” UnionBank President and Chief Executive Officer Edwin R. Bautista said.
The new feature will also allow customers to manage both traditional banking and digital assets within a single mobile platform, UnionBank said.
The virtual asset exchange feature was previously only accessible to randomly selected users of UnionBank’s mobile app through a limited VASP license, the bank said.
UnionBank saw its attributable net income decline by 12.87% year on year to P3 billion in the second quarter as its expenses doubled during the period.
This brought its first half attributable net income to P6.34 billion.
UnionBank’s shares closed at P69 apiece on Tuesday, down by 95 centavos or 1.36%. — AMCS