Mindanao’s leading rural bank expands in Visayas

June 29, 2010 10:42 am 

DAVAO CITY, June 29 — One Network Bank (ONB), the leading Mindanao’s rural bank, is eyeing to expand to Visayas by 2011.

Describing itself as “The Big Bank in Countryside Mindanao”, ONB president Alex V. Buenaventura said ONB is planning to apply for licensing with the Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP) for the opening of five ONB branches in a selected area in Visayas.

Buenaventura said ONB targets to open these branches before end of 2011.

The bank’s proven niche-market business model of building modern banking infrastructure in countryside areas of Mindanao will be replicated in Visayas where there are very progressive countryside areas that are underbanked in terms of access to modern big-bank facilities such as Philippine Clearing House Corporation (PCHC) Direct Clearing Checking Account, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Point of Sales (POS) Debit Terminals, Online Fund Transfers, Fast Inward Foreign Remittances and Micro-to-Big Business Loans, he said.

A comparative study of different potential cluster areas in Visayas is on-going which should be completed in six months resulting into a selected priority cluster area, he said.

With the approval of BSP, ONB will also open in September, this year five new branches in Mindanao including Matina Crossing in Davao City; Babak in the Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte; Oroquieta City in Misamis Occidental; Molave in Zamboanga del Sur; and Ayala in Zamboanga City.

After the September opening, ONB will apply for another five branches (four in Mindanao plus one in Makati City) with targeted opening by April 2011.

ONB has practiced the “cluster approach of at least five new branches” in entering a new cluster area in countryside Mindanao.

This cluster approach was pilot tested in Bukidnon for its Quezon, Don Carlos, Maramag, Valencia and Malaybalay branches.

Buenaventura said ONB describes itself as “The Big Bank in Countryside Mindanao” because its 75-branch network is wider than all other banks.

Also, he said more than half of said branches are located in countryside areas in Mindanao that are either unbanked or underbanked.

ONB has a current clientele base of more than 510,000 small depositors and 92,000 small borrowers being served by its more than 1,050 professional employees and 96 ATM machines.

ONB, which has been carrying the slogan “Pera ng Mindanao, Para sa Mindanao”.

But before end of 2011, ONB is expected to adopt a second slogan “Kwarta ng Visayas, Para sa Visayas” in which all deposits generated from the area will be used for micro-to-big loans in the same area, Buenaventura further said. (PNA)

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