The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has approved the application of 15 banks to open more than 80 bank branches.
In Circular Letter CL-2014-036, the central bank gave the go signal for 86 new bank-branch office applicants to proceed as planned and begin serving their respective client bases in the first three months of the year.
Security Bank Corp., a fast-expanding universal bank, has the most number of approved bank-branch approvals during the period. Security Bank has 12 approved applications during the period.
This was followed by Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. with nine approved applications, and Asia United Bank Corp. and Banco de Oro Unibank Inc. with five approved applications each.
For thrift banks, the Philippine Business Bank dominated the list with 21 branch approvals followed by 1st Valley Bank Inc. with four branch approvals, during the period.
Meanwhile, for rural banks, Rizal Rural Bank had 18 new bank-branch approvals during the period, followed by Rural Bank of Canlubang Planters Inc. with four approved bank branches.
In terms of location, Taguig City saw the most number of bank-branch openings this year, as there were 12 approved new bank branches established during the period. This was followed by Davao City with three bank branch approvals.
The central bank also reported there were 95 bank branches that opened in the first three months of the year, with East West Banking Corp. being the most aggressive universal bank in terms of expansion. Latest data from the central bank show there were 25 EastWest Bank branches that opened in the first three months. This was followed by BDO Unibank Inc. with eight new branches and MetroBank with five new branches during the period.
In terms of location, Makati City had the most number of opened bank branches in the January-to-March period with five new branches. This was followed by Davao City and Cagayan de Oro City with four new branches each.
The number of banks is a rough indicator of a region’s development, as banks tend to open more branches on those areas with large markets in need of financial services.