BPI CEO and President TG Limcaoco (left) talks with ABF editor-in-chief Timothy Charlton during a fireside chat at the ABF Forum 2023 held at Shangrila The Fort, Manila on October 3, 2023.

BPI eyes shifting branch agent role from transactions to advisory: exec

President and CEO TG Limcaoco said that BPI wants their branch agents to spend 70% of their time offering advice to clients.

Bank of the Philippines Islands (BPI) is looking to transform the role of its branch network from transaction-based hubs to primarily advisory centers for its clients.

Speaking to attendees of the Asian Banking & Finance Forum held at Shangri La The Fort in Manila, BPI President and CEO Jose Teodoro “TG” Limcaoco floated plans to change the role of its branch agents: from 70% of their time at work focused on processing transactions— payments, deposits, and other traditional branch banking services— to 70% of their time allotted on advisory.

“We are not ceding territory [in branch banking],” Limcaoco said, speaking at a fireside chat with ABF editor in chief Tim Charlton. Instead, they are looking to “rationalize” their branch network, he said.

BPI, who is the oldest bank in Southeast Asia, has over 860 branches across the Philippines.

Banks across Asia have long touted wealth management and wealth advisory as key to growing their fee pool, amidst growing incomes of the affluent and mass affluent segments.

The wealth pool from this group— defined as households with investable assets of $100,000 to $1m— is projected to be $4.7t by 2026, according to a report by McKinsey & Company.

This equates to a $20b to $25b revenue pool that banks, and wealth managers can tap into over the next three years, the management consulting firm said.

In an interview with Asian Banking & Finance earlier this year, Limcaoco reiterated the need to change the culture within the bank in order to succeed in the modern, digital-focused era— a fact that Limcaoco reiterated in his fireside chat at the ABF Manila forum.

All these— reinventing its branch operations and the company culture— are expected to help BPI edge closer to its goal of onboarding 50 million clients, Limcaoco said.

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