BANGKO Kabayan (BK), a long-established thrift bank in Batangas, is now part of the Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) group.
City Savings Bank Inc. (CitySavings) and UBP Investment Corp. (UIC), wholly owned subsidiaries of UnionBank, acquired a combined 70 percent stake in BK, of which CitySavings owns 49 percent and UIC, 21 percent.
Established in 1957 as “Ibaan Rural Bank,” the Batangas-based development bank served people in the municipality by providing reasonably priced credit to small merchants and farmers. Its end goal was to uplift the quality of life of the rural population in its service areas covered by 24 branches in Batangas, Laguna and Quezon.
The bank’s focus on grassroots entrepreneurship is aligned with CitySavings’ overall strategy to strengthen its presence in the mass market segment. It hopes to combine its digital capabilities with BK’s foothold in Calabarzon to expand into the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) business.
“BK is a very well-run bank with a decades-long track record of success and service to SMEs. We are excited to work with them to expand their business and reach,” said CitySavings president and chief executive officer Lorenzo Ocampo.
Bangko Kabayan president Betty Romulo shared: “Being part of the UnionBank group gives us access to digital banking solutions that will improve BK’s services with no need for a brick and mortar expansion. We look forward to the technological and capital support from CitySavings and UnionBank to level up BK’s capacity and reach out to more clients faster.”
To many of its clients, BK has been a trusted partner in growing their businesses over the years and providing assistance in overcoming financial crises with restructured loans. The bank helped them cope with the major challenges of 2020 -- the Taal Volcano eruption, the Covid-19 pandemic, and a series of typhoons -- that all affected their businesses. (PR)