PBB ending 2014 with 15% more branches

Ted P. Torres (The Philippine Star) - December 4, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Business Bank (PBB) said it expects to end 2014 with a branch network of 115, or 15 percent more end-2013’s total of 100 branches, it was already operating 110 as of end-September

PBB president and chief executive officer Roland Avante said that the branch network expansion program, however, has been faced by delays due to difficulties in selecting attractive sites, coupled with the inclement weather, which in turn, caused construction delays in sites already chosen.

“But the branch expansion has proven its merit given the strong growth of the loan and deposit business of the bank,” Avante added.

Loan generation from the branches picked up, from under P5 billion in 2012 to almost P14 billion so far this year.

Likewise, core income net of operating expenses grew 112 percent or P372.3 million year-on-year, as PBB continued to strengthen its position in the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) financing space.

The strength of the bank’s core business underscores the bank’s strategic positioning to reinvigorate its lending and deposit-taking businesses.

Avante said that the branch expansion will continue to be a principal foundation of the bank’s sustained success and profitability.

“We will continue with the branch expansion as this is central to the bank’s vision of partnering with the SMEs located throughout the archipelago. We see dynamism in leading business centers outside the capital, and there are also up-and-coming provinces, which have a lot of potential,” he added.

PBB deliberately focused on the expansion of its branches in the countryside and restricted areas to 2015. A projected eight restricted branches would be opened next year.

The bank expects to reach 200 to 250 branches over the medium term.

For the first nine months of the year, PBB’s pre-tax pre-provision profit was lower by 43.3 percent at P674.2 million and net income was lower by 52 percent, as the branch expansion and the uncertain trading environment caused a decline in earnings.

However, interest income was up 30.2 percent from P1.6 billion to P2.08 billion, driven by loan growth.

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