Cebu bank sets P100 million capital

By JADE LOPEZ, Reporter

A CEBU-based bank chain has earmarked P100-million in capital expenditure (capex) to further boost its presence nationwide. Wealthbank, operated by the Metro Gaisano group, is also completing its upgrading project specifically on information systems involving software and hardware to improve service while actively pursuing a nationwide expansion.

The bank’s expansion plans include establishing five more branches this year or early next year in strategic locations in Metro Manila and Wealthbank’s entry into the ATM services.

Wealthbank President Sabiano Villamor said included in the bank’s capex is the acquisition of seamless system/equipment in preparation for its membership to the Philippine Clearing House Corporation (PCHC) to upgrade the bank’s status to direct clearing participants at par with the rest of the member banks with direct clearing facilities.

“This will allow our bank to take advantage of a longer clearing cut off time for checks deposits of our clients,” he said.

Villamor said all other requirements including PCHC membership fees are ready for implementation pending the final signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between Wealthbank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and PCHC which is expected within the second quarter.

Because of the heavy investment required to become a member of PCHC, Villamor said many smaller banks opted to link up their clearing checks through a conduit bank.

With Wealthbank soon becoming a member of PCHC, Villamor said the bank’s clients will no longer be rushing up everyday in making check deposits.

“We find this service improvement to be of greater value to our clients,” he concluded.

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