Thrift banks urged to invest more for ASEAN integration

Posted at 03/17/2014 4:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Local thrift banks are being urged to improve its services in preparation for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) integration in 2015.

Chamber of Thrift Banks (CTB) president Jose Teodoro Limcaoco said thrift banks should prepare for bigger opportunities to expand into new markets.

“We want our members to improve their services to our micro, small, and medium enterprise clients as we prepare for a free-market implementation once the integration starts. CTB will familiarize SMEs on the integration, what industries will be opened in 2015 and 2016 and make them competitive in the open, integrated economy. To be more competitive, they might need to put up more CAPEX, invest more on infrastructure or increase manpower,” said Limcaoco.

The CTB has 71 thrift bank members in the country.

CTB First Vice-President Rommel Latinazo said thrift banks are expected to perform well in 2014, following a 19.3 percent year-on-year growth in deposit liabilities as of December 2013.

“We are diverse in terms of focus, some of us are into consumers, the independent thrifts tend to be more of the SME type of clientele. Both these sectors have continued demand for financing and that would be the outlet for the thrift bank industry,” Latinazo said.

To prepare for market expansion, the CTB will hold a national convention on March 19 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Makati City.

Among the speakers at the convention are Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco, Jr., BSP Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla, Jr., Senator Allan Peter Cayetano, Senator Bam Aquino and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba.