With the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) approval of the merger between Country Builder’s Bank and First Macro Bank, Country Builder’ss Bank (CBB) now has the largest branch network in the greater Metro Manila area of any standalone thrift or rural bank.
Previously, both were Metro Manila-based rural banks, each with more than 55 years of existence.
With the additional 10-branch merger incentive, CBB as 46 branches, of which 13 are restricted Metro Manila branches, 16 are unrestricted Metro Manila branches and 17 are in the immediate peripheral provincial areas.
CBB is unique in the sense that it offers the advantages of homespun personal service, and the customer attention of a local community bank, but with branches primarily located in Metro Manila, and adjacent provinces. This contributes greatly to the financial-inclusion advocacy of the BSP.
Country Builders Bank is a rural bank covering the greater Metro Manila and the surrounding peripheral provinces, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal. Branches are in prime locations along streets with heavy commercial activity and foot traffic.
CBB caters to a wide and varied client base in the communities it serves. The deposit base is significantly large and deposits are generated from thousands of small depositors.
CBB’s urban and provincial branch network delivers organized banking financial services, bills payments, remittance services, microinsurance and automated teller machine (ATM) facilities into communities where modern banking services were previously unavailable.
The bank has a large and diverse deposit base with no major single or group depositors. It has a foreign currency deposit unit license and has US dollar deposit facilities and products and accredited licenses for checking accounts, social security system (SSS) direct pension deposits, automatic payroll-deduction system of the Department of Education and microinsurance.
CBB is also accredited by the Small Business Corporation Guarantee Fund and the Agricultural Guarantee Fund.
In addition to the main banking products, CBB serves a big base of microinsurance clients, remittance clients and SSS pensioners. CBB has EMV-compliant ATM facilities in its branches near market places and high-traffic areas that allow for the remittance transactions and payment of bills.
The bank hosts the largest volume of transactions among banks as a Bayad Center agent for bills payments. It consistently ranks among the top banks in Western Union remittances.
CBB offers the Unlad Express microfinance product through which clients can avail themselves of P5,000 to P300,000 loans, with microinsurance family coverage and savings components. The process is usually done within three days.
This is the second time in five years that CBB has consolidated and/or merged with another bank to expand its branch network, client base and services. What is now Country Builders Bank began with the merging of Builders Bank and Country Rural Bank of Taguig, Inc. in 2012.
For CBB, the next challenge is to expand its branch network and implement technology-driven solutions so as to continue its advocacy of bringing best banking services to the many unbanked communities within Metro Manila and surrounding provincial areas.