Gov’t program, liquidity boost bank branch count


The banking system, encouraged by the government’s financial inclusion program and boosted by rising liquidity, opened up more branches in the first nine months of 2015.

The number of physical branches opened was noted across all types of bank classifications and not just among the large commercial and universal banks.

According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the number of bank branches as of end-September 2015 continued to rise and noted across all sectors of banking—from universal and commercial banks down to thrift, rural and cooperative banks.

Data show the number of bank offices in the country as of end-September 2015 totaled 10,606.

This was up from only 10,528 offices reported in the previous quarter.

More than half of these offices were owned by universal and commercial banks with a total collective network of 5,969 offices. This was up from the 5,926 total number of offices at end-June 2015.

Among thirft banks, their total number of offices increased from 2,013 branches at end-June to 2,052 by end-September.

This means 39 new branches were built across the country during the quarter.

Rural and cooperative banks also expanded their reach during the period, from 2,569 branches at end-June 2015 to 2,585 branches by end-September 2015.

In terms of regional distribution, most banks preferred to have their presence felt at the National Capital Region, where 3,324 bank branches have been established as of end-September 2015.

This was followed by the two regions closest to the country’s capital.

Region 4A, or the Calabarzon region, posted a total of 1,598 branches during the period, while Region 3, or the Central Luzon region, had 1,073 branches.

In the Visayas the region with the most number of banks was Region 7, or the Central Visayas region, with 620 bank branches.

It was also the region with the fourth most number of bank branches nationwide.

In Mindanao the region with the most number of banks was Region 11, or the Davao region, with 403 banks all over.  In terms of regions still lacking a significant banking presence, Region 4B, or the Mimaropa, has the lowest banking penetration rate with only 241 bank branches in the region.

In the Visayas Region 8, or Eastern Visayas, has the least number of banks with only 189 bank branches.

In Mindanao the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao only has 21 bank branches, while the Region 9, or the Zamboanga Peninsula, only has 211 bank branches.


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