By Karl Angelo N. Vidal, Reporter
SECURITY BANK Corp. is growing its retail banking segment as the lender expects the domestic economy to grow robustly.
In an interview, Security Bank Retail Banking Segment Head Ma. Cristina A. Tingson said the listed lender is growing consumer banking to be its third business pillar, complementing its strengths in the wholesale banking and financial markets businesses.
According to the bank’s third-quarter financial performance, its consumer loans grew 48% year-on-year and accounted for 19% of total loans in the quarter, larger than the 14% share in the same period a year ago, as well as the meager 10% in 2015.
“Our outlook is robust economic growth, which is being seen in many areas around the country,” Ms. Tingson told BusinessWorld via e-mail.
She added that the growth of townships in many areas across the country will drive economic activity next year, as well as small businesses such as shops and restaurants that support these townships.
Aside from these, Ms. Tingson also noted that consumer spending will also drive economic growth in 2019 “which are reflected in the growth of housing loans [and] auto loans,” among others.
In a previous chance interview, Security Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Alfonso L. Salcedo, Jr. said the bank is looking at strengthening the retail and middle market segments of its loan portfolio as they are “more sustainable” than the “lumpy” corporate lending.
“This year is a bit different, but we’re looking at the retail and middle markets because that’s more sustainable,” Mr. Salcedo said, adding that retail loans yield more margins compared with corporate ones.
To support the growth in the consumer segment, Ms. Tingson said Security Bank will continue to enhance the banking experience for its customers across all channels.
“We believe that if we make our customers happy, business growth will follow. That is why all our resources are spent on knowing our customers best and building the capabilities of our people, channels, processes, products and service solutions to fit the clients’ needs,” she added.
In October, Global Finance awarded the lender the Best Bank Award in the Philippines, besting larger financial institutions in the country that used to bag the award.
The New York-based magazine said Security Bank “continued to deliver results which exceeded its peers” amid a relatively modest market share.
“Security Bank is known for delivering differentiated value to niche markets under its BetterBanking brand, which is built on speedy paperless branch transactions and digital banking via its mobile and online portals,” Global Finance said.
“What we are aspiring for is to provide a seamless customer experience across all channels of Security Bank,” Ms. Tingson said in her email, noting that the strategy also applies even for loans.
Security Bank’s third-quarter net profit climbed 5% to P2.25 billion from a year ago on the back of a surge in consumer loans and deposits.
Shares in the bank were up by P4.70 or 3.08% to close Wednesday’s session at P157.50 apiece.