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CBS hikes loan portfolio to P10B in 2013


Sunday August 4,2013 - 19:58
by: Geniyi Factao
Business Mirror


CHINA Bank thrift subsidiary China Bank Savings (CBS) has grown its total loan portfolio to P10 billion and now better able to serve a growing client base even as it pursues a network expansion for this year and next.


CBS President Alberto Emilio Ramos said the bank aims to increase its footprint in the industry through branch expansion in strategic locations, mergers and establishing mini branches at Savemore Market outlets.


Savemore Market outlets are units of the SM Group.


“With the anticipated growth in customer base, we have increased the loan portfolio to P10 billion this year, from last year’s P4 billion,” Ramos said at a news briefing the bank hosted on Friday.


All loan product lines that include auto loans, housing and personal loans contributed to the lender’s growth.


CBS is on track to meet its target of at least 73 branches this year and 100 more by 2014.


It opened five traditional branches in the first half. The initial four mini- branches at the Savemore branches were inaugurated on July 30.


Currently, CBS has 42 branches from only 33 branches in 2012.


CBS Executive Vice President Jaime Valentin Araneta said the merging of Unity Bank, which was acquired by China Bank in November last year, will strengthen its network with 15 more thrift branches in Central Luzon.


“We will submit the documentation requirements on August 15 and the merger of the two companies is expected in September. The 15 Unity branches that will be renamed and converted in the last quarter will complete China Bank Savings’ lineup of new branches,” Ramos said.


CBS has introduced an in-store banking concept with Savemore, allowing full banking services to its clients. Occupying a 15-meter-by-17-meter space, the mini branches are equipped with an automated teller machine, an online-banking kiosk and are manned by just three personnel: a sales officer, a teller and a for-new accounts personnel.


“Our mini branches allow us to increase market coverage in key cities at a cost 80 percent cheaper than traditional branches. Considering that the capex [capital expense] and operating costs are much lower than the conventional bank branch, the payback period is much shorter,” Ramos said of the significance of this development.


He said the mini branches cost only P2 million, much lower than traditional branches that normally require about P8 million.


Ramos noted Savemore normally serves about 3,000 customers a day but expect less than half this number eventually to open an account with CBS.


The lender anticipates a customer base of 2 million in two-and-a-half years.


Araneta said CBS has a two-year lease agreement with Savemore.


SM Supermarket President JC Mendoza said CBS’ madaling kausap (approachable) tagline fits well with Savemore.

“Now we offer a complete line of service to our shoppers, with this in-store CBS mini branch,” he said.


The mini branch operates from Monday to Sunday, including holidays, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.