The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas approved 110 applications for new banking offices in the first quarter, as banks continue to expand their coverage nationwide to seize growth opportunities in the provinces.
Data showed that applications from universal and commercial banks approved by the regulator reached 24 in January to March, followed by 12 from thrift banks and 74 from rural and cooperative banks.
Among universal and commercial banks, BDO Unibank Inc. of retail tycoon Henry Sy submitted eight applications in the period.
These are located in Antipolo City, Cainta in Rizal, Davao City, Gerona in Tarlac, Gumaca in Quezon, Taguig City, Talavera City in Nueva Ecija and Taytay, Rizal.
China Banking Corp. also had eight applications approved. These are located in Cabanatuan City, Dinalupihan in Bataan, Iligan City, Las Piñas City, Mariveles in Bataan, Olongapo City, Tarlac City, and Taytay, Rizal.
The lone application of state-run Land Bank of the Philippines is located in Hagonoy, Bulacan.
Meanwhile, Philippine National Bank’s three applications approved are all located in Davao City.
The three applications of Security Bank Corp. are in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu, Makati City and San Fernando City in Pampanga.
Bangko Sentral data also showed that a total of 111 new bank branches were opened in the first quarter this year. Bulk of these were opened by universal and commercial banks (47), followed by thrift banks with 37, and rural and cooperative banks with 27.
Bangko Sentral officials earlier urged banks to continue expanding in the countryside to seize the growth opportunities there and contribute to the financial inclusion efforts of the government.