ADB provides grants to Philippine rural bank

ADB provides grants to Philippine rural bank

THE ASIAN Development Bank (ADB) is providing grants worth $655,000 to rural lenders in the Philippines to help accelerate their digitalization.

The grants will cover nine rural banks and a bank consortium, the multilateral lender said in a statement on Monday.

These will help them “implement digital transformation solutions aimed at catalyzing financial inclusion, especially in underserved sectors in the country.”

The recipient banks are Banco San Vicente, Camalig Bank, MVSM Bank, Rural Bank of Guinobatan, Rural Bank of Medina, Rural Bank of Montalban, Rural Bank of Porac, Rural Bank of Silay, the Rural Bank of Tandag and the Good Bank Consortium, which is composed of three rural lenders, the ADB said.

These banks are seeking to streamline their operations, reduce costs, expand access, improve customer service, and strengthen their resilience, the lender said.

“Some of the digital transformation proposals involve putting up cloud-based core banking systems, loan origination systems, and credit scoring systems,” it added.

The grants are under the ADB’s Fintech for Inclusion Transformation (FIT) program.

“The FIT program builds on ADB’s efforts to utilize technology to increase the efficiency, sustainability, and resilience of the finance sector, especially those which service underserved sectors in the country,” ADB Director for the Finance Sector Group Emma Xiaoqin Fan said in a statement.

The FIT program is also part of the Inclusive Finance Development Program, which supports reforms that expand the reach of financial services to the unbanked population.

The program is supported by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines.

In 2022, the ADB was the Philippines’ top provider of active official development assistance (ODA). This accounted for 33.47% of the total ODA portfolio, equivalent to $10.85 billion. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson