CITY SAVINGS Bank, Inc. (CitySavings) is improving its digital capabilities to offer more accessible financing options and services to its customers.

“With its primary goal of becoming the Philippines’ leading thrift bank, CitySavings sees digital transformation as a necessary step in achieving this goal,” the bank said in a press release on Wednesday.

“By utilizing emerging technologies as well as key learnings from its parent bank UnionBank of the Philippines (UnionBank), [Inc.], CitySavings hopes to shore up its digital capabilities, and in turn create products and services that are more meaningful to Filipinos.”

The thrift subsidiary of UnionBank said it has seen successful results with its pilot tests of artificial intelligence-driven solutions. Using historical data to improve customer relevance, the initial tests achieved a conversion rate of 35% in the testing phase.

CitySavings also developed an in-house credit scoring model using AI that helped it build its motorcycle loan portfolio to P7.06 billion at end-March.

In line with this, the thrift bank appointed its parent UnionBank’s Chief Technology and Operations Officer Henry R. Aguda as its new board chairman.

“CitySavings has been helping many of our kababayans through accessible financing options, and our priority is to bring these loans to even more potential customers by optimizing the Bank’s existing customer touch points and the infrastructures that support them, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) models created by our Data Science and AI Team,” Mr. Aguda said.

“Henry brings with him a wealth of expertise that was also instrumental in UnionBank’s successful digital transformation. With his appointment as its new chairman, we are confident that CitySavings will be able to go further in its transformation journey, allowing it to cater to the underserved segment much better,” CitySavings President and Chief Executive Officer Lorenzo T. Ocampo said.

UnionBank recorded a lower net profit in the first quarter as trading gains normalized.

The Aboitiz-led lender said its net income dropped by 45% to P2.608 billion in the first three months of 2022 from a year earlier “due to extraordinary trading gains recorded in the first quarter of 2021.” Based on its previous financial statement, its net profit in the first quarter of 2021 stood at P4.728 billion.

Shares in the lender closed unchanged at P80 apiece on Wednesday. — K.B. Ta-asan