CARD Bank, a microfinance-oriented rural bank, opens its 73rdbranch inGen. Segundo Avenue, Brgy. 13,Laoag City, Ilocos Norte on September 19, 2016as part of its mission in reaching more Filipino families.
“We continue to strengthenCARD Bank’s presence in the northern part of Luzon to provide quality banking experience to our clients who mostly came from unbanked households,” said President and CEO Marivic M. Austria. “Though Laoag is a progressive city and has numbers of banking institutions, there are still CARD clients living in the outskirts of the citythat are left behind and don’t have an access to formal banking. This is where CARD Bank goes into,” Austria added.
CARD Bank started its expansion in the Ilocos Region in 2015 and its new office in Laoag is the 7th branch established in the region. Other bank branches in the region are in Lingayen, San Carlos, Urdaneta, San Fernando, Alaminos, and Candon.
CARD Bank Laoag Branch will provide its services to more than 950clients from Laoag City through its loan and savings products and remittance services.
These clients came from CARD, Inc., a microfinance non-government organization and a member institution of CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI).They have alreadyestablished a sense of responsibility as a member and are ready to access banking services.
“As a member institution ofCARD MRI that aims to empower socio-economically challenged families, CARD Bank’s various products and services are embedded in its mission to lift them up from the cycle of poverty,” said Austria.
CARD Bank provides different loans and savings products tailor-made to the needs of its clients. Aside from these, CARD Bank also delivers financial education to help its clients make efficient investments in health, education, or in income-generating activities.
In thelist released by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on March 2016, 36.5% or 596 cities and municipalities in the country remain unbanked: 175 from Luzon; 177 from Visayas; and 244 from Mindanao.
“Though numerous banks are already established in the country, a great number of Filipinos remain unbanked because of accessibility. CARD Bankwillensure clients living in the far-flung areasthat their banking needs will be catered,” said Austria.
Austria also shared that CARD Bank will be opening its branch in Bangued, Abra soon. “Simultaneous in our effort tostrengthen CARD Bank’s presence in North Luzon, we will also openseven branches in Mindanao, six branches in Visayas, and three more branches in Southern Luzon before 2017 ends to promote greater financial inclusion in the country.”
CARD Bank pillars, management committee members, staff, and clients were present in the grand opening.
CARD Bank is also a member institution of CARD MRI, a social development institution based in San Pablo City, Laguna. CARD Bank is now serving 1.9 million clients as of July 2016 and is also BSP’s hall of fame awardee for financial inclusion.