SECURITY Bank Corp plans to expand its lending business by 10-15 percent this year as it moves to increase its share of the consumer loan segment.
On the sidelines of the lender’s annual stockholders meeting, Security Bank executive vice president Eduardo M. Olbes told reporters that this year’s loan growth guidance is at a similar range as other banks’ projections.
“The issue is not the loan demand [which] has been quite strong. The issue is that the [interest] rates have gone down quite a bit,” Olbes said.
He said loans grew by about a fifth in the first quarter, whereas it was flat last year.
Olbes said the bank is looking to grow its consumer loans segment, which comprised only seven percent of the pie in the first three months.
“Our portfolio is heavily skewed towards wholesale–corporate, commercial and SMEs [small and medium enterprises],” he said.
“Yields are challenging in wholesale. We want to sustain our net interest margin, therefore we see the consumer business as avenue for that,” said Maria Cristina A. Tingson, Security Bank senior vice president and retail banking segment head.
In line with growing the consumer business, Security Bank aims to expand its network to 250 branches by yearend from 208 last year, with half of the new branches in Metro Manila, she said.
The bank has 319 automated teller machines (ATMs) and aims to reach a ratio of two ATMs per branch, Tingson said.