March 21, 2023

13 bank branches approved in Q3 2022

Four major banks and one rural bank have received approval from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to open 13 additional regular branches or banking offices in the third quarter of 2022.

The BSP also approved 82 branch lite units (BLUs) based on a Jan. 19 circular signed by BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier. The BLUs were applied for by four rural banks.

In the memo, Fonacier noted that the majority of these applications were from BDO Unibank Inc, the country’s biggest bank, together with its rural bank subsidiary, BDO Network Bank, as well as its investment bank unit, BDO Private Bank.

Security Bank Corp. and Land Bank of the Philippines also applied for new banking offices.

Regular branches do more banking activities than branch-lite units. While BLUs offer a wide variety of products and services suitable for meeting market demands, these have limited capability to cater to sophisticated clients with high risk tolerance.

Regular branches are large banks that provide a full range of banking services. They are typically classic brick-and-mortar locations.

By the end of December 2022, the central bank was in charge of 403 rural and cooperative banks, 45 major banks, 43 thrift banks, and 45 big banks. In total, there are 29,348 bank branches in the country; 1,836 of which are head offices, while 27,512 are other offices such as BLUs and branches focused on microfinance.