A letter I received today from AIG PhilAm Savings Bank announced the acquisition of AIG Philam Savings Bank, Philam Auto Finance and Leasing and PFL Holdings by EastWest Bank.
EastWest Bank is a subsidiary of Filinvest Development Corp. (FDC), one of the country’s top conglomerates. FDC owns Filinvest Alabang Inc. which is developing the 244-hectare Filinvest Corporate City in Alabang and Filinvest Land which operates the wildly succesful Festival SuperMall, Cyberzone Properties and Filinvest Asia. FDC also owns Pacific Sugar Holdings Corp. which runs three sugar companies.
The letter says that the acquisition will be completed in the second quarter of 2009 after the completion of regulatory approval. EastWest has 80 branches across the country.
The letter also assures holders of AIG credit cards that the transition will be orderly and will not affect AIG credit card transactions.
EastWest Bank also announced this acquisition on its web site. It said that the purchase will increase EastWest’s number of branches to 89 units, 54 in Metro Manila and 35 in other cities. EastWest will become the 6th credit card issuer in terms of number of credit cards in force and amount of card receivables.
How will this acquisition affect cardholders like me? I am curious about how they will handle AIG credit cards, which have higher interest rates. EastWest credit cards charge only 2.25% for gasoline, supermarket and drugstore purchases and 2.75% for others while AIG cards charge 3.5% for all kinds of purchases. Will EastWest leave AIG cards as a separate card brand or convert them to EastWest cards?