BRANCH BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Philippines

Philippines' BDO to add as many branches as possible

Banco De Oro plans to add as many branches that it could handle to its 740-plus network.

However, Teresita Sy-Coson, chairman of Banco de Oro Unibank, said there is a problem with the branch moratorium for big banks.

“Medium-sized (banks) can grow in the restricted area while bigger-sized (banks cannot),” expalins Sy-Coson.

“We want to merge but no one wants to merge with us (for now),” Sy-Coson said, adding that BDO will just “grow organically instead of acquiring smaller banks” but bank officials are looking at the possibility.

Last year, BDO was supposed to acquire Export and Industry Bank, particularly its 50 branches, 25 of which are in restricted areas. But the deal fell through and the latter is now placed under receivership.

BDO said growth drivers include its “business franchise and distribution network, leading to an expanded loan portfolio, growing low-cost deposits and higher recurring fee-based service income.”

As of March 31 this year, BDO was the Philippines' largest bank in terms of total resources, customer loans, total deposits and assets under management.

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