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Banks’ branches, ATMs expand in Q1

(The Philippine Star) - June 24, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A merger of two big banks and closures of several rural banks decreased the number of lenders in the country last quarter, but this was more than offset by the establishment of more branches and automated teller machines (ATMs).

A total of 9,477 bank offices were registered from January to March, up 0.71 percent from 9,410 in end 2012, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) website showed.

Compared to same period last year, bank outlets — which include head offices and branches — also rose 3.17 percent from 9,186.

Of the bank offices during the review period, 687 were head offices, while 8,790 were “other offices” composed of branches, remittance centers, and microfinance offices, among others.

Universal and commercial banks accounted for the bulk, cornering 5,182 head offices and branches, up from 5,145 by end of last year. It was also a 5.66 percent improvement year-on-year.

A slight reduction in head offices — from 37 to 36 — was a result of the merger of Lucio Tan-led lenders, Allied Banking Corp. and Philippine National Bank, with the latter as the surviving entity.

The merger was finalized last February after it was approved by regulators.

Nevertheless, the decrease in the actual number of big banks was more than offset by a rise in branches to 5,146 in March from 5,108 in December last year.

Meanwhile, the existing 70 thrift banks expanded their reach, with 1,571 outlets nationwide, up 1.42 percent from 1,549 in end-2012 and 1,522 in March last year.

On the other hand, rural and cooperative banks — the smallest in asset terms — added eight offices from December last year to reach 2,654.

Six rural banks went out of operation during the period, while two cooperative lenders entered the industry. Both type of lenders increased their branches and offices.

In the first quarter, the BSP shut down the following countryside lenders for failing to service depositor claims: Cavite-based Capitol City Bank Inc. (A Rural Bank), Rural Bank of Gainza (Camarines Sur) Inc., Rural Bank of Majayjay (Laguna) Inc., Rural Bank of Buenavista (Agusan del Norte) Inc., La Consolacion Rural Bank (Laguna) Inc., and Rural Bank of Kinogitan (Misamis Oriental) Inc.

Nevertheless, banks have broadened their reach through the expansion of their ATM network during the period, figures showed.

A RURAL BANK ALLIED BANKING CORP BANGKO SENTRAL BANK BANKS CAMARINES SUR CAPITOL CITY BANK INC LA CONSOLACION RURAL BANK OFFICES RURAL
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