Security Bank to focus on retail banking

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014


PUBLICLY-listed Security Bank underwent re-branding and will now focus on retail banking or consumer financing, top officials said yesterday.

“Security Bank. You Deserve Better,” is the bank’s new brand promise. It said it exemplifies the bank’s intent to expand the primary target market exponentially to include various customer-centric programs and initiatives to address the growing retail banking segment.

“The re-branding is a necessary exercise for us to support our strategy to grow the retail bank. Our goal is to ultimately make retail the third business pillar for the bank as a consistent source of revenue base to balance with our existing two business pillars, whose businesses are generally wholesale,” Security Bank senior vice president for retail banking Ma. Cristina Tingson said during a media phone conference.

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Tingson said that based on their research, the retail market “does not really know” the bank that well. Instead, they are more known to the corporate market. With the re-branding, the bank expects to have a balance in the portfolio mix.

She said 90 percent of the bank’s total loan portfolio is under corporate and commercial banking.

Tingson said the bank is specifically targeting the emerging “mass” and “mass affluent” segment or those earning at least P600,000 a year.

According to Tingson, this segment comprises about 10 percent of the country’s total population.

Building homes

“This is the segment who thinks about building their homes, buying cars. This is the segment that starts to save and the ones who look for opportunities on where their earnings can start to grow,” she said. “This is the market that we really want to serve.”

As part of their move to be consumer-centric, Security Bank is modernizing their branch look, improving branch processes and developing special privileges to serve customers better.

Out of the 244 total branches nationwide, Tingson said 60 branches are due for renovation.

“The objective of the new layout is to give more space for customer-banking activities. It is also formatted, in a way that the transaction flow would be easier from the customer point of view. We are really looking more on customer centricity rather than satisfying the needs of the bank but making sure that security issues are well-guarded,” said Tingson.

Eduardo Olbes, Security Bank executive vice president for wholesale and institutional banking, said the retail banking initiatives of the bank were instrumental in growing its branch network which was previously at 140 prior to the acquisition of Premier Development Bank and the opening of new branches.

For this year, Security Bank is opening 24 new branches, of which two or three branches will be located in provincial areas.

Outpacing industry

In its disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Security Bank said it posted P5 billion in net income in 2013. It logged 38 percent increase in its loan portfolio to P165 billion, outpacing the banking industry’s 16 percent growth for the year. The bank said its loans went to critical sectors of the economy such as power, utilities, infrastructure, wholesale and retail trade, food, agriculture, and consumer goods.

“Our core business remains strong and continues to grow alongside the buoyant Philippine economy. We have made substantial investments in developing our retail bank and asset management business. Our intent is to develop our retail business to become a meaningful pillar to complement our financial markets and wholesale businesses, as well as improve our ability to provide products and services that respond to our clients’ needs,” said Security Bank president Alberto Villarosa in a statement.

The bank’s deposits, meanwhile, grew by 45 percent to P206 billion, faster than the industry’s 33 percent growth rate. It said that the growth in business volumes resulted in the 34 percent growth of the bank’s total assets to P348 billion.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 06, 2014.

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