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RCBC earmarks P40 million capital-expenditure for 2009

() - February 25, 2009 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) is spending P40 million in capital-expenditure for Visayas this year in a continuous bid to broaden its consumer base and asset size.

RCBC deputy head for the Visayas Prudencio Gesta said in an interview yesterday that the Yuchengco-led universal bank will open at least five branches in the Visayas this year, mostly in Metro Cebu.

RCBC, the fourth largest universal bank in the Philippines in terms of capitalization, will spend an average of P7 million to P8 million in opening a branch, excluding the manpower investment, which needs at least six people to man a full-service banking outlet.

“We are still in the mode of expansion, despite the global economic crisis. In crisis there are still opportunities. It depends on how to position your product in the market,” Gesta said.

The five branches that will be opened this year, which will be in Boracay, Iloilo, Banawa (Paseo Arcenas commercial complex), Asia Town IT Park, and in Cebu South Super Highway, is part of the bank’s plan to add 12 more branches nationwide this year.

“We’d like to expand channels or branches to be competitive. If we won’t open branches, we will be left out,” he said.

Gesta belied reports that the Yuchengco Group is using planholders’ money for the aggressive expansion plan of its banking arm, saying “its not true, Pacific Plans and RCBC are two separate entities. RCBC cannot add capitalization easily using other company’s money as it requires approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC].”

The Yuchengco Group operates three insurance entities, the Pacific Plans (pre-need insurance), Grepalife (life insurance), and Malayan Insurance (non-life).

According to Gesta despite the gloomy economic situation in the world, the banking prospects in the Philippines is still bullish, thus banks not only RCBC are trying to expand their network base to capture additional depositor-base.

“If a bank has good distribution network it always attracts clientele,” he said. RCBC currently has more than 300 branches, including those of unit RCBC Savings Bank.— Ehda M. Dagooc

ASIA TOWN CEBU SOUTH SUPER HIGHWAY EHDA M GESTA MALAYAN INSURANCE METRO CEBU PACIFIC PLANS PASEO ARCENAS RCBC RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING CORPORATION YUCHENGCO GROUP
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