Philippine National Bank (PNB) president and CEO, Jose Arnulfo “Wick” Veloso is the new president and chairman of the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP), following the retirement of Bank of Philippine Islands’ Cezar P. Consing.

 “I am very honored to be elected as president of the BAP. I look forward to collaborating with the government to support their efforts and look for ways to speed up the recovery of the economy,” said Veloso. He also commits to work closely with lawmakers and banking regulators such as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in “building, enhancing or amending banking laws and regulations to help promote economic activity safely.”

Jose Arnulfo ‘Wick’ Veloso

The BAP’s new set officers include: Land Bank of the Philippines president and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo as first vice president; ING Bank country manager Hans B. Sicat second vice president; Union Bank president and CEO Edwin R. Bautista as treasurer; and Security Bank Corp. president and CEO Sanjiv Vohra as secretary.

Before joining PNB, the De La Salle University graduate Veloso was president and CEO of HSBC Philippines. He was the first Filipino to lead the British banking giant in the Philippines. As PNB chief, the Lucio Tan-controlled bank has won many recognitions both here and abroad, and is considered a best performer in responding to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the 45-member BAP said Veloso is expected to continue the group’s banking sector advocacies, programs and projects.

 “I know we will be in very good hands,” said outgoing president Consing. “The role of leading the BAP is both an honor and a gift, and one that I am grateful to have had,” he added.

The 72-year old BAP on March 15, during is annual membership meeting, elected Veloso as new president. During the event, BAP managing director Benjamin Castillo said the industry has survived the 2020 pandemic or the first year of th COVID-19 crisis but it is not yet over and its support to the banking

industry and its members “will remain a reality for a long time.”

Consing said BAP, with its close working relationship with Congress and therefore its active participation in the crafting of important laws such as the two Bayanihan laws, the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) and the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) Act, has ensured that the banking sector will continue to be resilient amid the pandemic and post-COVID era.

 “We were pleased to see our inputs incorporated in the Bayanihan I and II, FIST, and AMLA bills which were signed into law, and the Agri-Agra, GUIDE, PDIC Charter Change, and Bank Secrecy bills which now await further deliberation in Congress,” said Consing.

The BAP is also collaborating with the BSP on crucial regulations as banks shift to the digital age, such as the digital banking policies and the proposed creation of the Open Finance Framework.

 “Tough times bring out the best in good organizations,” said Consing. “Given the unique challenges of the past year, the quality, intensity, and output of the BAP’s engagement with regulators, lawmakers, and our many other publics uphold this truth.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (