BSP approves new bank branches
Philippine Star
By Prinz Magtulis
July 31, 2012

MANILA, Philippines - Nearly a hundred new bank branches could be established within the country this year after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) approved applications for more financial outlets.
Data from the BSP website showed regulators have approved the opening of 97 new universal, commercial, thrift and rural banks nationwide, adding to the 9,186 bank branches as of the first quarter of the year.
The number of applications approved was on top of the earlier reported 136 branches that opened from January to March, figures also showed.
This is a clear sign of a healthy and growing banking industry responding to a vibrant economy," BSP Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said in a text message.
BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said in a separate text message that having more branches allow banks to have "greater reach to serve more customers, especially in areas outside the National Capital Region."
"This is consistent with our thrust toward a more inclusive financial system," he added.
Of the 97 applications approved, 46 were for universal and commercial banks, 41 for thrift banks and 10 for rural banks.
Nine universal and commercial banks applied for additional branches: Asia United Bank Corp., BDO Unibank Inc., China Banking Corp. East West Banking Corp., state-run Land Bank of the Philippines, Maybank Philippines Inc., Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., Philippine National Bank and Security Bank Corp.
Meanwhile, there were seven thrift banks that wanted to expand their network, including China Bank Savings Inc. and Philippine Savings Bank which plan to establish five more regular branches each. China Bank Savings and PSBank are the thrift banking units of Chinabank and Metrobank, respectively.
The BSP also approved five more branches for Planters Development Bank, which has been focused on lending to small and medium enterprises.
There were also five rural banks allowed to open up new outlets, data showed.
A total of 136 bank branches, consisting of 49 for universal and commercial banks, 55 for thrift banks and 32 for rural banks, were established during the first three months of the year.