BPI Direct BanKo aims to have 200 branches by year’s end

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BPI Direct BanKo, Inc., the micro-finance unit of Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), targets to have 200 branches at the end of the year in a bid to boost the loan portfolio growth of its self-employed micro-entrepreneur (SEME) segment.

“We’re looking at 200 [branches] at the end of the year. That’s a pretty fast growth rate for the SEME business,” Joseph Albert L. Gotuaco, retail client segment group head of BPI, said in a press conference following the bank’s annual stockholders meeting in Makati City on Thursday, April 19.

Mr. Gotuaco explained that BPI Direct BanKo targets to have up to 150 branches in the July to August period.

“We opened two [branches] this week. If you go by tomorrow, we’re going to have 115. By the end of June, i think we’ll be at 130 branches, by July or August, [we might have] 150,” he told reporters, adding that the additional 50 branches to hit the 200 target branches are yet to be approved by the central bank.

“The last 50 [still have no approval, but] it’s [already] applied. ] I don’t want to say 200 [because] the regulator hasn’t given us the approval, but the target is 200.” — Karl Angelo N. Vidal