Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) wants to serve more unbanked Filipinos by putting up more branches in the underbanked areas in the Philippines.
John Deveras, RCBC executive vice president and head of strategic initiatives, said that the bank is opportunistic in terms of expansion as it normally plans to put up 15 to 20 new branches per year.
Deveras said that RCBC is looking to put up these branches in provinces outside Metro Manila, since the country’s capital is now a restricted area when it comes to expansion.
“In terms of strategic advantage, 60 percent of rcbc branches are outside Metro Manila so we are well represented in most areas outside Manila. If there’s a place that’s booming, and we feel that it is underbanked, then we’ll put a bank there. It depends on where the opportunities,” he said.
The RCBC executive also noted that it costs about P6 million to set up a branch, and they are looking at about P120 million for 15 to 20 branches.
Furthermore, Deveras said that RCBC is expanding its automated teller machine (ATM) network for the next two years. To date, RCBC’s ATM network has 1,100 units.
He said that the bank wants to have a ratio of four ATMs for every branch, adding, “We have about 430 branches now. RCBC should have 1,700 ATMs. So we are looking to invest over the next two to three years for at least 600 ATMs all over the country.”
Costing about P900,00 per ATM, Deveras said that the bank could spend at least P540 million for an additional 600 ATMs nationwide in the next two years.
Asked about the RCBC’s plan on the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Community Integration, Deveras said that the bank doesn’t have a particular plan when it comes to international expansion, rather, RCBC wants to focus its operation domestically.
“There are 40 million unbanked Filipinos, that’s a whole new country. Why worry about servicing people abroad when you have 40 million of your countrymen not part of the banking system,” he said.
For the first half of 2013, RCBC generated a consolidated net income of P3.17 billion, or a 5.18-percent increase from the P3.01 billion recorded in the same period of 2012, while its net interest income reached P6.18 billion, higher by 12.5 percent from P5.50 billion last year.