AS the Czech Republic recently celebrated its national day, Czech Ambassador Jaroslav Olša Jr. said they are looking to invest more in the country’s banking sector.
According to Olša, with bilateral relations between the two countries strengthening, they are seeing strong interest from Czech companies to explore options in the country’s banking sector.
“We are very much a trading country, so it is very important for us to be present in all markets in the world. It is just a question of time when Czech investors will find the Philippines,” Olša said, while citing the success of Czech company Home Credit Group in the country.
He explained that Home Credit Philippines opened its office in the country two years ago, and is now employing 2,500 Filipinos.
Home Credit Group, an international consumer finance provider, was established in the Czech Republic in 1997. It now has operations in 11 countries and provides lending options to people with little or zero credit history.
According to Home Credit Philippines CFO Zdenek Jankovsky, there is big potential in the Philippines’s banking sector, specifically in the C and D sectors of the population with banks in the country only focusing on top-tier clients.
“The Philippine baking sector is very conservative, and it is very much focused on the safe clients. So they are basically serving A and B economic classes of the customers, and there is a huge unbank population that has a capacity to utilize banking services,” Jankovsky said.
He added, “We see lots of opportunities. We believe that the market size of the C to D clients is about 40 million. That is what we want to address.”
According to Jankovsky, the company will undertake an expansion program next year in Mindanao, including starting operations in the provinces of Davao, General Santos City and Cagayan de Oro.
For the year, Home Credit’s target is to exceed 500,000 clients by the end of this year, and to provide more loans to individuals looking to acquire gadgets, home appliances and personal computers.