Supporting SEMEs across Mindanao

Self-employed micro-entrepreneurs (SEMEs) will now have the opportunity to expand their businesses with the help of BPI Direct BanKo.

With its directive to promote financial inclusion and easy access to affordable loan products for SEMEs in the region, BPI BanKo offers the BanKo NegosyoKo Loan that allows SEMEs additional resources for expansion or additional capital for their businesses.

BPI Direct BanKo (BanKo), a subsidiary of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) that focuses on microfinance, opened a new branch at Valencia City, Bukidnon last February 27,2018. Expanding its presence in Mindanao, BanKo aims to help and propel economic growth by supporting the region’s numerous micro and small entrepreneurs.

According to latest data from the Department of Trade and Industry, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) make up 99.57 percent of the country’s total number of business establishments. Of which, about 20 percent are micro-enterprises in Mindanao.

“SEMEs represent the majority of the businesses in the country, but they are usually not eligible for commercial banks’ traditional loan products or are too big for traditional microfinance institutions. Nonetheless, they regularly need credit to sustain and grow their micro-enterprises while meeting their family’s needs. We tailor our services particularly for these types of entrepreneurs, whose contributions promote and sustain inclusive growth,” BPI Direct BanKo Chairman Joseph Albert Gotuaco said.

Seeing the need to address a particular concern, BanKo came up with a formidable solution that greatly affects the growth of a business: obtaining credit loan from a bank.

Since launching in July 2017, it has already released Php190 million worth of loans to 2,800 clients in Mindanao alone.

“The number of businesses in the region continues to rise, and more infrastructure development projects are being implemented to attract more investments. These are perfect ingredients to the success of Mindanao’s economy, and we are honored and excited to be part of the development by supporting the self-employed micro-entrepreneurs (SEMEs) in the region,” BanKo Chairman Gotuaco added.

With its business model, it is their clients comfort that they are after. Instead of the clients leaving their businesses to tend to requirements, BanKo brings BanKo to them. And compared to commercial banks, their requirements are more flexible and requires minimal documentation — such as a Barangay permit or certificate.

“We provide loans that they can afford. Through this, we are able to help them realise their financial capabilities”, BanKO Head of Loans Rodolfo Mabiasen Jr. said.

Customers can apply for a BPI Direct BanKo’s NegosyoKo loan for as low as PhP25,000 and as high as PhP300,000, which can be released within seven banking days upon submission of all the requirements.

“BPI Direct BanKo’s operating model and products address SEMEs’ unique needs and circumstances. We go to their places of business and engage them through our financial advisers known as BanKomares or BanKopares, who have deep community knowledge and presence and also act as loan officers,” Jerome Minglana, President of BPI Direct BanKo emphasized.

These BanKomares and BanKopares are not only financial advisers but more so, guides in managing their business finances. And the BanKomares and BanKopares are all locals of the city thus enabling a more comfortable establishment of rapport and relationship between clients and BanKo in general.

Minglana further added, “BPI Direct BanKo gives importance to locals in helping us cater to more SEMEs in the region.”

Nationwide, BPI Direct BanKo has already served over 10,000 SEMEs and released a total of PhP550 million in loans. It is targeting to expand up to 200 branches nationwide this year to serve 20,000 more SEMEs.

BPI BanKo in Valencia, Bukidnon is their 103rd nationwide and 19th in the whole of Mindanao. For 2018, they intend to open 14 more branches in Mindanao.