THE growth and diversity of business in Negros provinces is driving the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) to expand and strengthen its presence here, the bank’s top official said.
BPI president and chief executive officer Cezar Consing, in a media roundtable discussion at the bank’s Capitol Subdivision Branch in Bacolod City Tuesday, March 13, said businesses in Negros are now more diverse.
Consing said a lot of these enterprises are anchored on the growth of business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, which has also created other businesses, including real estate.
“With the accelerating growth in BPO and real estate, which is stimulating development among other industries as well, we are strengthening our presence to cater to the growing demand for financial services in Negros,” he added.
At present, there are 19 BPI branches in Negros Island. Of which, 15 are in Negros Occidental, including 11 branches in Metro Bacolod. The remaining four are in Negros Oriental.
These are on top of the 10 offices of BPI Direct BanKo, the microfinance arm of the bank.
This year, the bank will add four more branches in Negros. These will be located in the soon-to-be opened Ayala Malls Capitol Central, Barangay Sum-ag, and east area in Bacolod City, and in Dumaguete City.
“So when you look at BPI’s physical presence, it has already 33 all over Negros Island,” Consing said.
He further said that BPO and real estate industries have helped redefine the local economic landscape and will generate more employment for Negrenses.
“Negros is becoming more financially inclusive (in terms of) growth, and we want to encourage and finance this kind of growth,” Consing added.
Aside from BPI the Bank and BPI Direct Banko, the company’s three legal entities also include the BPI Family Bank.
BPI the Bank is the main commercial bank while the BPI Family Bank is a savings bank that focuses on retail loans, housing, auto, and personal loans.
BPI Direct Banko focuses on business loans for self-employed and micro entrepreneurs.
Bank records showed there are currently almost 240,000 BPI clients in Negros. Of which, about 80 percent are located in capital cities of Bacolod and Dumaguete.
To support the expansion, BPI continues to invest in human capital in the region and is also active in the local community with various projects that aim to educate people about personal finance, entrepreneurship, environmental protection, and health education, among others, it added.