BPI earmarks P50 billion on four strategic priorities in 2018
The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) will allocate approximately P50 billion from its stock rights offering (SRO) on four strategic opportunities that will help the Bank in its expansion in 2018 and in the coming years.
“Our client base has grown by about half a million to 8.5 million in 2017. Of all Filipinos with bank accounts, one out of every four of them has an account with BPI,” said BPI President and CEO Cezar P. Consing during BPI's Annual Stockholders' Meeting on April 19 at Fairmont Makati. “This is testimony of the value we bring to our customers. What lies ahead for BPI is best described by our strategic focus on what we think are the four most important areas that will fuel our growth.”
These strategic priorities include: 1) increasing BPI’s level of digitalization, 2) enhancing the Bank’s deposit franchise and delivery infrastructure, 3) accelerating the growth of SME and retail loans, and 4) continuing to grow the microfinance business.
Mr. Consing said BPI’s SRO, which was announced in January this year to raise as much as P50 billion, will finance the Bank’s focus on the four strategic priorities.
“BPI has established itself as a leader in digitalization with over 1.5 million active mobile application users and 1.4 million active Express Online users. For 2018, it is our objective to further increase the number of clients using BPI services through secure internet and mobile channels, further promoting financial inclusion throughout the country,” he said.
The Bank is also set to integrate and optimize its various digital platforms—desktop and mobile—to provide a seamless, secure, and reliable user experience for BPI clients. These platforms’ design and features will be adjusted to increase intuitiveness and provide top-notch security features that include One-Time Pins (OTPs), as well as card control security and authorization methods. Meanwhile, the online banking portal, currently running on beta, will continue to roll out features to provide a comprehensive user experience online.
These efforts toward digitalization are also integral to enhancing the Bank’s deposit franchise and delivery infrastructure.
“We also want to focus on CASA (current account, savings account) growth by strengthening our franchise and delivery infrastructure. We will continue to innovate and become a one-stop shop for integrated products and services,” said Mr. Consing.
The retail business also provides growth opportunities for the Bank. BPI has a large and loyal customer base for its retail segment that has provided low cost deposits. The Bank will pursue the latent opportunity for more auto and mortgage loans for this fast-growing segment through more efficient processes and reduced turnaround times.
BPI continues to promote financial inclusion by providing access to easy, convenient and affordable loan products to fund the operations or grow the businesses of self-employed micro entrepreneurs (SEMEs) through its micro finance arm --BPI Direct BanKo, servicing 8,093 accounts in 103 branches as of December 2017. BPI Direct BanKo will continue to grow its branch network to provide more services and opportunities for financial growth to Filipinos across the nation.
Realizing the strong potential of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) space, BPI formed a new business unit, Business Banking, to focus on this sector. The Business Banking Group will cater to the over 100,000 SME clients that have deposits with the Bank but do not borrow nor use other financial products. Currently, SME loans account for less than 10% of BPI’s loan book, which the bank aims to increase in line with the country’s growing economy.
“We are optimistic for this year as we raise a record amount of new capital. The next few years will be devoted to maintaining our market-leading risk-adjusted returns, growth, and exemplary financial performance. All this while ensuring that we devote our resources to strategic initiatives that promote financial inclusion for all Filipinos, and which will further increase our relevance to our clients and to our nation,” Consing added.
ABOUT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
The 166-year-old Bank of the Philippine Islands is the first bank in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. We are a commercial bank with an expanded banking license. We provide diverse financial services that include deposit taking and cash management, asset management, securities brokerage, foreign exchange and capital markets investments, bancassurance, corporate lending, leasing, and investment banking. BPI has significant financial strength, with strong Tier 1 capital adequacy ratios and profitability, underpinned by a strong risk management regime. BPI is rated investment-grade by international credit ratings agencies.