BSP shutters rural bank in Laguna
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas(BSP) last week shuttered a rural bank in Laguna, bringing the number of closed countryside lenders so far this year to 16.
In a bulletin, state-run Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) said the Monetary Board, the BSP’s highest policymaking body, in an Oct. 13 resolution prohibited San Pedro City, Laguna-based Sampaguita Savings Bank Inc. from doing business.
With the closure of Sampaguita Savings Bank, which had a lone branch in Biñan City, Laguna the number of shuttered rural banks thus far in 2016 already exceeded the 14 last year.
As designated receiver, the PDIC took over the bank as well as its affairs, assets, branch and records on Oct. 14.
BSP Deputy Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. had said the rural bank sector is “evolving” such that closures as well as mergers among small lenders were seen to strengthen the banking industry as a whole.
“What we are seeing is that weaker players have decided to get out of the system or combine with others so those that remain to continue servicing the market are stronger, compared with the banking system 10 years ago,” Espenilla had said.
The 15 other rural banks earlier placed by the BSP under PDIC receivership were Rural Bank of Villaviciosa (Abra) Inc., Lapu-Lapu Rural Bank Inc., Rural Bank of Bayawan (Negros Oriental) Inc., Rural Bank of Basay (Negros Oriental) Inc., Rural Bank of Panay Inc., Koronadal Rural Bank Inc., Rural Bank of Malinao (Aklan) Inc., Surigao City Evergreen Rural Bank Inc., Rural Bank of Amadeo (Cavite) Inc., New Rural Bank of Binalbagan, Rural Bank of Siaton (Siaton, Negros Oriental) Inc., Rural Bank of Alabat (Quezon) Inc., Rural Bank of Cabadbaran (Agusan) Inc., Rural Bank of Claveria (Cagayan) Inc., and Rural Bank of Luna (Isabela) Inc.
Including thrift bank GSIS Family Bank, the Monetary Board closed down a total of 17 banks to date.
According to Espenilla, a number of rural banks were undergoing merger deals under the Consolidation Program for Rural Banks (CPRB).
The PDIC earlier said two groups of 10 rural banks have been eyeing to merge under the CPRB.
Jointly shepherded by the BSP, the PDIC and the Land Bank of the Philippines, the CPRB was a bank-strengthening program for rural banks aimed at enhancing their ability and viability to promote financial inclusion as well as stability in their respective communities.
The CPRB, which rural banks can avail of until Aug. 25 next year, offers regulatory incentives to proponent banks.
A group of at least five rural banks with head offices or majority of the branches located in the same region or area could qualify under the CPRB.