THE Security Bank Corporation (SECB), one of the country’s leading universal banks, is gearing towards digital banking to expand its networks.
Alfonso Salcedo Jr., president of SECB said digitalization is but the future of banking.
He said that though they targeting to reach 450–500 branches nationwide by 2020, the figure is still about less than half of the top three banks in the Philippines. The reason, he said, “because the distribution strategy is really to have a strong digital and electronic commerce platform to complement the branch network.”
“We think digitalization will be more important and will play a bigger and more vital role within the next five years and SECB would like to be at the forefront of that,” he said.
He added that the future of banking and most business is with mobile smart phones provided that majority of the population own mobile phones.
“It can do so many things and I think the bank, financial institutions that can really capitalize and build the smart phone in a relevant and meaningful way will win and we would like to be that bank,” Salcedo said.
Earlier this year, SECB and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. (BTMU) inked a strategic partnership deal wherein the former received capital investment of P36.9 billion from the latter. In turn, SECB issued to BTMU 150.7-million common shares and 200-million preferred shares, representing BTMU’s 20 percent ownership of the voting stock in Security Bank.
With the partnership, SECB’s shareholder capital increased to P 90.2 billion as of April 1, 2016 from P 53.2 billion as of December 31, 2015.
“This puts Security Bank among the five largest private domestic universal banks in the country by capital. The additional capital will be used to accelerate the execution of Security Bank’s growth strategies,” Salcedo said.
The bank is strengthening its presence in Mindanao through “Mindanao Expansion Plan” this year as they saw the big potentials and bright prospects, saying all major business roads lead to Mindanao, particularly in Davao City covering all its three business pillars: wholesale business, financial marketing, and retail banking business.
“It is expected that more businesses are looking to expand in Mindanao. We want to make sure that we got our fair share of that growth and so far so good. We have not seen any negative factor on the ground,” he said.
Leslie Cham, executive vice president of SBC, said they will also set up 20 more branches within the next two years in Mindanao.
The additional branches will be established in Davao IT Park, Buhangin, Cabaguio, Calinan, Lanang, Mintal, and Matina.
The bank will also expand its presence in the cities of Tagum, Cotabato, Mati, General Santos, Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro as well as in Midsayap in North Cotabato.
Currently, the bank has a total of 23 branches in Mindanao.
Cham said that they will open its Bukidnon and Ozamis branches by the last quarter of the year.
By the end of 2016, SBC will have a total of 25 branches in Mindanao. In Davao City alone, Jason Ang, senior vice president of the bank, said they have over 15,000 clients.
SBC has a total of 280 branches as of October 2016.