RIZAL Commercial Bank Corporation (RCBC) noted that its lending in Mindanao has been growing rapidly.
Eugene Acevedo, RCBC president, said during a media roundtable at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao on Monday, July 15, that they are optimistic of their growth in Mindanao noting the fast increase of loans availed in recent years.
“Our consumer loan book in Mindanao has been growing really well,” Acevedo said. However, he has not provided a specific number on the growth.
For example, he said the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) loans of the Rizal Microfinance Bank is growing. Much of the Rizal Micro in Mindanao is located in Davao Region.
Acevedo said MSME and consumer loans in Mindanao account for P6 billion of the total portfolio of the bank. However, this is just a small amount.
“It is growing fast but it is very small. It is growing faster than the rest. I want to see it grow faster,” Acevedo said.
He added that one of their most successful divisions is the auto loans in Central Mindanao.
“When people start borrowing for cars and are able to pay their loans, that is a good indication of the strength of the underlying economy,” Acevedo said.
He said they attributed the growth in lending in Mindanao with the government’s Build, Build, Build program and the improvement of the investment climate in Mindanao.
RCBC continues to see the Build, Build, Build as a factor to the growth in lending in Mindanao.
“The Build, Build, Build program has resulted in wide roads being constructed and new infrastructure around the island. Not just our bank but also other banks are participating on that side,” Acevedo said.
Agricultural value chain financing is also being seen as a growth area for lending in Mindanao. In 2016, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas approved the Agricultural Value Chain Financing Framework.
In a statement, BSP said the financing program “addresses the associated credit risks with the agriculture and fisheries sector by shifting the focus of lending from individual farmers and fisherfolks to the whole value chain.”
It added, “Participation in a value chain allows farmers to leverage on effective farming technologies and methods, access to formal financing, and sustainable market demand.”
Acevedo said they are currently in discussion with BSP to participate in agricultural value chain financing.
“They (BSP) will identify specific agri-value chain and I suspect a handful of these will be in Mindanao,” Acevedo said.
Meanwhile, Acevedo said they are not looking at expanding in Mindanao soon in terms of branches. Currently, there are 58 RCBC throughout Mindanao with 17 being in the Davao Region.
“We already have enough branches. Fifty-eight is already a lot of branches... the idea is to make these more productive,” he said.