Retail lender to pursue ‘inclusive finance’ plan


CBS China Bank Savings Inc., the retail lending arm of China Banking Corp. recently announced it will pursue an “inclusive finance-driven” bid to expand geographical and market reach.

“Our program of network expansion to the countryside signifies optimism in the long-term business prospects of those areas and our institutional commitment to promote financial inclusion,” CBS Chairman Ricardo R. Chua was quoted in a news statement as saying.

“As the country strives for recovery, CBS is determined to keep the pace of delivering traditional and digital banking services to the broad consumer market, small business owners, as well as special markets we serve,” Chua added.

He said the retail lender is now shifting its original thrust to cater to the needs of small enterprise and specialized lending to segments like public school teachers and Department of Education (DepEd) employees.

As a sign of bullishness on the expected rebound of the economy, the thrift bank opened three regular branches and 11 kiosk-type shops from June to September, bringing the branch network to 171.

“CBS is set to open 24 more branch-lites until December 2021,” CBS President James Christian T. Dee announced. Dee added that the bank continues to scout for sites, where new segments are expected to support its long-term growth.

“As a bank, we are genuinely concerned about promoting ‘easy banking access for all’ thereby contributing to the rapid recovery of communities we serve. And that itself makes good business sense,” Dee explained.

“Our expansion effort in the next period will focus on making financial services highly accessible to teachers and staff of public schools through these CBS branch-lites,” he added. “Branch-lites are designed so that your visits will provide a warm, personalized experience, with the assurance that business is conducted safely and comfortably.”

Niel C. Jumawan, head of the bank’s Automatic Payroll Deduction Salary (APDS) Lending group, said teachers nowadays are experiencing challenging times these days.

“For years, CBS has been promoting the idea of financial inclusion. Our expansion to towns and secondary cities is expected to benefit more DepEd teachers and staff and their families, and help improve the quality of life in the communities where CBS operates,” Jumawan said.

He pointed to the bank’s APDS loan program that “helps boost the consumer power of the public education sector.”

Jumawan explained that under this program for DepEd teachers and staff, qualified customers can borrow up to P1 million, without any collateral with a term of 12 months up to 36 months. He added the loan can be used for emergency expenses, purchase of devices, home repairs, continuing education and as working capital for home-based businesses.

“By providing easy-to-access, innovative banking services to under-served sectors, our Bank is living up to our commitment to promote financial inclusiveness and uplifting the quality of life in communities we serve,” according to Chua, noting the bank’s thrust to weave business objectives with social responsibility goals during the pandemic.

“CBS is here for the long haul,” Chua said through the statement.

The Makati-based CBS, believed to be as the country’s fourth largest thrift bank, was set up in September 2008 by its parent firm to cater to under-served markets.

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