THE THRIFT banking subsidiary of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) expects to sustain its lending growth this year as it plans to improve the efficiency of its channels.
Rizal MicroBank (RMB) President Raymundo C. Roxas said the Yuchengco-owned lender is expecting to sustain the double-digit growth of its loan portfolio at about 27-30% in 2019.
If realized, it will outpace the 26% year-on-year loan growth the bank projects for 2018.
“[The sustained loan growth for this year] will be driven by raising further the productivity of our existing branches and loan officers,” Mr. Roxas said in a text message.
To increase its efficiency, the thrift lender earlier invested in a demographics-based credit scoring system, which will be coupled with alternative data.
“We expect this to improve our origination and approval process as well as credit risk taking,” Mr. Roxas added, noting that RMB will also invest in other technology to improve the lender’s operations.
The thrift bank said its three lending segments — microfinance, small business loans, and agricultural loans — will drive RMB’s loan growth for this year, as these products are mainly targeted for micro and small entrepreneurs with an asset size of P15 million and below.
“The use of loans is mostly for additional working capital and small percentage for small capital expenditure,” Mr. Roxas said.
RMB’s total loan portfolio is projected to be at P1.17 billion in 2018, up 26% from the P934 million recorded the previous year.
Rizal MicroBank or Merchants Savings & Loan Association, Inc. started its banking operations in 2010 after being acquired by RCBC in 2008.
It opened its first branch in Koronadal, South Cotabato in 2010, expanding its network in Mindanao and eventually in Southern Luzon after purchasing the 10 branch licenses of Pres. Jose P. Laurel Rural Bank.
Currently, RMB has 18 branches spread in Southern Luzon, Cebu and Mindanao.
Rizal MicroBank was the 32nd biggest thrift bank in the country in asset terms as of end-September with P1.48 billion. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal