Robinson Bank plans growth with capex plan

Robinson Bank plans digital initiatives, branch expansion and cyber security measures

Robinson Bank plans to allot P730 million (£9.98 million) for capital expenditures (capex). It plans to spend the sum on its digital initiatives, branch expansion and cyber security measures, Robinsons Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Elfren Antonio S. Sarte said at Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). When asked regarding the source of funds, he said that the bank expects to have enough cash profit for 2018 to cover the projected capex.

It also plans to raise the number of its branches in 2018. Sarte said that the bank now has 136 branches. Now, it has six more branches in the pipeline and the bank should be ending at 150 by the end of 2018, adding that the lender will also spend some money for cyber security.

Earlier this month, the banking arm of the Gokongwei’s JG Summit Holdings, Inc. signed a bancassurance partnership with British life insurer Pru Life UK to bolster the bank’s product offerings. Robinson Bank also expects to generate approximately P40 million to P50 million (£0.54 million to £0.68 million) in premiums in the first year of its three-year partnership with Pru Life UK.

Sarte said that the bank has a couple of initiatives that will push or make its digital banking strategies stronger. The bank is also focusing in ensuring it has the digital strategy to support growth. He further said that he is expecting that the bank exceeded P100 billion (£1.36 billion) in assets in 2017, adding that the bank has been growing fast. For 2017, Sarte thinks its numbers will exceed P100 billion (£1.36 billion) in terms of assets.

According to BSP data, with assets worth P94.41 billion (£1.29 billion), Robinsons Bank ranked as the 19th biggest commercial bank at the end-September 2017.

Sarte added that the bank is considering to offer long-term negotiable certificates of deposits (LTNCD) this year. He further said that the bank is considering offering LTNCD this year but it is still early to confirm since it has to get board approval. He added that the proceeds will be used to support the growth of the bank’s loan business should they proceed to offer LTNCDs.

Like regular time deposits offered by banks, LTNCDs offer higher interest rates. However, LTNCDs cannot be pre-terminated but can be sold on the secondary market, making them “negotiable.” Earlier in June 2017, Robinsons Bank raised P4.182 billion (£0.05 billion) from its first-ever LTNCDs in June 2017, which is more than the initial P3 billion (£0.04 billion) offer size.

Earlier, Philippine National Bank, East West Banking Corp. and UnionBank of the Philippines announced they will be offering LTNCDs in 2018.

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