CHINA BANKING Corp. (China Bank) is looking to “substantially” increase its consumer financing by targeting business owners and the business sector.

The Sy-led bank’s consumer loans are smaller compared with its corporate lending segment, China Bank Executive Vice-President and Consumer Banking Segment Head Aloysius C. Alday, Jr. said in an e-mail to BusinessWorld.

“Consumer lending, as compared with corporate, makes up a smaller portion of China Bank’s lending portfolio. We aim to increase the consumer lending portfolio substantially with focus on our depositors, the employed sector and business owners,” he said.

He added that China Bank is focusing on growing its housing and auto loan portfolios, as well as credit cards, for the development of its consumer lending segment.

“We will continue to leverage on our housing loans, auto loans, and credit cards for the growth of the consumer lending portfolio. Our branches will endeavor to grow deposits as well,” Mr. Alday said.

The lender last month launched three travel-rewards credit cards in partnership with Mastercard to leverage the coming holiday period, when an increase in spending is expected.

China Bank’s board of directors on Aug. 2 also approved an additional P2-billion capital infusion to its thrift banking arm China Bank Savings, Inc. (CBSI).

The capital will be used to support its “sustained loan expansion and enhance its ability to cover and serve more segments of the banking and unbanked population.”

As of August, China Bank tallied 643 branches and 1,062 automated teller machines, including those of its thrift arm.

The lender saw its attributable net income rise by 11.88% year on year to P5.81 billion in the second quarter due to higher interest income.

This brought its first-half attributable net income to P10.83 billion, up by 7% year on year amid higher revenues and as it set aside lower loan loss provisions.

Its shares last went down by 45 centavos or 1.45% to end at P30.55 apiece on Friday. — Aaron Michael C. Sy