To chase 10% growth, bank tries to bring in borrowers-A A +A
Saturday, June 23, 2012
PLANTERS Development Bank (Plantersbank) will expand its consumer lending services in Cebu, particularly for loans on housing, auto, personal loans and even loans for real estate developers.
According to Gary Vargas, Plantersbank senior vice-president for consumer banking group, the expansion of consumer lending in Cebu was buoyed by the market’s strong growth and active participation in various industries, particularly in real estate.
“SME lending is the core thrust of the bank. But we also consider expansion of other products such as in the consumer lending as one key drivers for the bank’s growth,” Vargas said in a recent interview.
Plantersbank hopes to achieve 10 percent growth this year. It has also pushed the acquisition of additional branch licenses for the opening of 10 new branches this year.
Vargas said one of these new branches will be located in Bacolod. Five branches are expected to open by the third quarter this year, while the other five branches are scheduled to open before the year ends.
Plantersbank will spend some P5 million to P8 million per branch establishment.
Vargas said the branch expansion manifests the bank’s commitment in expanding its reach to Filipino SMEs and making its products and services even more accessible.
“This also signifies the healthy and strong performance of the bank,” he stressed.
Plantersbank has about 70 branches nationwide. The bank currently has three branches in Cebu.
“We intend to add more branches. After these 10 new branches, we will probably look at strengthening our presence in the VisMin area by next year,” Vargas said.
Meanwhile, Plantersbank is going to lead and host this year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) SME Conference slated in July. The bank said preparations are in full swing as over 40 delegates, including chief executives of member SME banks in the region, are expected to attend.
Plantersbank is the only Philippine financial institution that was invited to be a member of the APEC Financial Institutions Dealing with SME, which has 13 financial institution members from 11 APEC-member countries and economies.
“By holding the APEC SME Conference in the Philippines, we expect to gain a lot in terms of best practices, frameworks, systems and procedures that can help SME Banks to cope with the current changes and challenges affecting our SMEs,” said Plantersbank chairman and CEO Ambassador Jesus Tambunting.
The APEC SME Summit is a yearly gathering of financial institutions to exchange views on topics related to SME finance, and to establish a cooperation system among the APEC SME members.
This will be the first time the Philippines is hosting this annual summit which is slated from July 18-20, 2012 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 23, 2012.