Card Bank, a rural bank whose main mandate is to provide microfinance products, is expected to add six more branches this year to its 94 branches.
Although it has yet to identify which areas it will open, the bank made the announcement of targeting to open 100 branches this year after opening its 94th branch last month in Silangan, San Fernando Masbate.
“The new branch in Masbate is our way of providing direct access to financial and social development programs to the communities in San Fernando,” said Dr. Dolores M. Torres, senior management adviser of the bank, in a statement that the bank sent to TIMES.
Torres said that the branch in the town is the answer of the bank to the call of its clients who have to endure hours of travelling by boat or by motorcycle to other branches within the province. “We have almost 17,000 clients in the municipality. All of them endure travelling via boat or habal-habal just to make banking transactions with us,” she said.
Aside from the new branch, the bank has branches also in Aroroy, Dimasalang, Cataingan, and Masbate City.
Torres said the bank saw the need to open more branches, like the one in San Fernando, to be able to better serve its clients and those who want to be would-be clients. “Our commitment is to always make financial and non-financial services accessible to our clients,” she added.
The bank said the branch in San Fernando is the first bank branch in the town as Ms. Torres said the bank was “really eager to have this opened.”
The opening of more branches will allow the bank, which is part of the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development – Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD-MRI) to increase its client base and assets from 2.7 million and P15.3 billion, respectively at present.
The bank also maintains a high repayment rate for its loan of 99.26% as it offers, among others, loan and savings products.
She added that the opening of the branch is another milestone cap in the operations of the bank. “We have seen the development of our clients in the area. Their businesses are already viable and it’s high time for us to respond closely to their growing financial and social development needs,” she added.