Interviewed By Editorial
Wick Veloso, president and CEO at Philippine National Bank (PNB), received the award for Leadership Achievement for Best COVID-19 Response in the Philippines at the Leadership Achievement Awards Virtual Ceremony 2020 presented by The Asian Banker.
Wick Veloso, president and CEO at Philippine National Bank (PNB), received the award for Leadership Achievement for Best COVID-19 Response in the Philippines at the Leadership Achievement Awards Virtual Ceremony 2020 presented by The Asian Banker. Philippine National Bank was awarded Best Managed Bank during COVID-19 in the Philippines during the ceremony.
Veloso led PNB to ensure business continuity and accelerate its digital transformation during COVID-19
Under Veloso’s leadership, the bank acted swiftly to set up a COVID-19 command centre to support businesses operating under the work-from-home (WFH) set-up. It has a dedicated skeletal workforce to ensure critical support functions are not disrupted. It also sped up its digital transformation during the pandemic and recorded 18% more mobile banking transactions in June compared to the previous months.
The bank strengthened its risk management to ensure stability amid a gloomy economy
The bank completed a comprehensive review of its loan portfolio. In addition, it has taken a proactive approach in its provisioning to protect its balance sheet against potential credit losses. In the first half of 2020, its loan loss provisions jumped more than tenfold to $170 million from $16 million in the same period last year.
It also identified potential sources of liquidity risk and established early warning indicators before COVID-19 affected the country. This allowed the bank to address potential weaknesses and build buffers to ensure that the bank stays resilient. Its liquidity remained strong throughout and the bank remains ready and able to fund and support the needs of different business lines.
Various measures have been taken to support its customers and employees
The bank worked closely with its customers on programmes to relieve financial pressure on businesses. Meanwhile, the bank implemented activities that focused on helping internal stakeholders. It increased the medical benefits of employees to $7,300 for hospitalisation and extra allowance to work in office. It also dedicated hotlines to assist its employees who needed medical consultation and counselling needs. In addition, a total of 675 outsourced personnel who were not able to work during the lockdown were also given financial assistance through a campaign launched in April 2020.
Veloso in his acceptance speech said, “I'm able to work as efficiently as possible and see the road ahead of me because of the support of management and staff”.
For video of the Leadership Dialogue and Leadership Achievement Awards Virtual Ceremony, please click here.
About Leadership Achievement during COVID-19 Awards
The Asian Banker conducts the annual Leadership Achievement Awards programme that focuses on the performance of CEOs/chairmen and boards in the financial services industry in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. This year, the Awards are specifically aimed at evaluating the performance and response of CEOs/chairmen and the banks that they lead during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the initiatives implemented to help customers and society at large through the crisis. Shortlisted candidates and institutions were evaluated on the level of digitalisation of operations and processes; risk management capabilities, especially around credit and liquidity risk management; how they deploy their own funds in a manner relevant to the societies they serve; and how they create social capital, the means by which they justify their value through the contributions to the communities they serve.
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