ENTERPRISE Bank Inc., a Mindanao-based thrift bank, sees more opportunities for expansion in Cebu, said a key official.

Ronald Alvizo, the bank’s president and chief executive officer, said the bank is eyeing another branch in Metro Cebu within the year, on top of the existing branches in Talisay, which operated in 2010, and the newly-opened Mandaue City branch in Tipolo (beside City Time Square), which was inaugurated on Thursday.

Alvizo said the expansion will be supported by its merger with the Rural Bank of Ronda, Inc., which is still subject for approval by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Once the central bank approves the merger, this will convert the existing Rural Bank of Ronda to Enterprise Bank.

In the past two years, Alvizo said Enterprise Bank in Talisay City has disbursed loans of some P100 million to its clients, mostly micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

It has 31 branches scattered around Mindanao and two in Cebu.

Over the next five years, Alvizo said the bank plans to open more branches in the Visayas. By the second or third quarter of the year, Enterprise Bank will open a branch in Iloilo.

“In Mindanao, instead of opening branches, we will develop new mechanisms. (For instance), online loan application,” he said.

Formerly known as the New Rural Bank of Lianga in Surigao del Sur since 1976, Enterprise Bank embarked on the establishment of branches in 1994 when BSP deregulated the banking industry.

The bank opened branches all over Caraga Region, Davao Provinces, and Misamis Oriental, but it was only in October 2012 when Enterprise Bank formally started its operation as a thrift bank as authorized by BSP.

As of September, Enterprise Bank had total assets worth P2.198 billion, ranking 28th out of 61 thrift banks in terms of assets, said BSP.