CBS China Bank Savings Inc., the retail lending arm of China Banking Corp. recently announced that it would pursue an “inclusive finance-focused” offering to expand its geographic and market reach.
“Our program to extend the network to the countryside signifies optimism about the long-term business prospects of these regions and our institutional commitment to promote financial inclusion,” said CBS President Ricardo R. Chua, quoted in a press release.
“As the country strives to recover, CBS is committed to keeping pace with the delivery of traditional and digital banking services to the broad consumer market, small business owners, and the specialty markets we serve.” , added Chua.
He said the retail lender is now reorienting its original focus to meet the needs of small businesses and specialist lending to segments such as public school teachers and Department of Education (DepEd) employees.
A sign of optimism about the expected rebound in the economy, the savings bank opened three regular branches and 11 kiosk-type shops from June to September, bringing the branch network to 171.
“CBS is expected to open 24 additional branches through December 2021,” CBS President James Christian T. Dee said. Dee added that the bank continues to seek locations, where new segments should support its long-term growth.
“As a bank, we are genuinely concerned with promoting ‘easy access to banking for all’, thereby contributing to the rapid recovery of the communities we serve. And that in itself makes good business sense, ”Dee explained.
“Our expansion effort over the next period will focus on building highly accessible financial services to teachers and public school staff through these CBS branches,” he added. “Branches are designed to ensure that your visits provide a warm and personalized experience, with the assurance that business is conducted safely and comfortably.”
Niel C. Jumawan, head of the bank’s Automatic Payday Deductions (APDS) loan group, said teachers are going through tough times today.
“For years, CBS has promoted the idea of financial inclusion. Our expansion into towns and secondary towns should 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 which “helps to strengthen the consumption power of the public education sector”.
Jumawan explained that under this program for teachers and staff at DepEd, qualified clients can borrow up to £ 1 million, without any collateral, with a term of 12 months to 36 months. He added that the loan can be used for emergency expenses, purchase of appliances, home repairs, continuing education and as working capital for home businesses.
“By providing innovative and easy-to-access banking services to underserved areas, our bank is delivering on our commitment to promote financial inclusion and improve the quality of life in the communities we serve,” said Chua, noting the the bank’s direction to weave business goals with social responsibility goals during the pandemic.
“CBS is here for the long haul,” Chua said in the statement.
Makati-based CBS, considered the country’s fourth-largest savings bank, was established in September 2008 by its parent company to address underserved markets.