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 Corporation (UIC), wholly-owned subsidiaries of UnionBank acquired a combined 70% stake in BK, of which CitySavings owns 49% and UIC, 21%.
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 CEO 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. The BK Foundation’s Entrep Eskwela program which advocates social entrepreneurship has helped them find opportunities for growth and success. Joan Arenas Dusal, a long-time client of the Bank, recalls her experience with BK: “I started with a loan of P2,000.00 from Bangko Kabayan which I used to start and grow my business. Later on, I also applied for and was granted a loan to build a house. During the pandemic, when some of my businesses were closed, I was able to use the savings I had with BK to pay off my obligations without having to restructure my loans.”
Recognized as the Fastest Growing Savings Bank in the Philippines for 2019 by UK-publication Global Business Outlook, CitySavings continues its commitment to be the market leader in digital transformation among mass market banks by introducing more innovative solutions for a seamless customer experience.