Believing that rural banks will continue to play a critical role in countryside development and inclusive growth, EastWest Bank fortified its reach in underserved areas in the country through its rural bank arm, EastWest Rural Bank (EWRB).
EWRB (formerly FinMan Bank, Inc.) consolidates, through an asset acquisition, effective November 1, 2013 the rural banking business of the two rural banks that EastWest earlier acquired, namely Green Bank, Inc. and FinMan Bank, Inc.
FinMan Bank is a 16-year-old rural bank based in Pasig City and engaged in extending credit to farmers, tenants, and rural enterprises. EastWest injected a total of P520 million in fresh capital into EWRB subsequent to the regulatory approval effective May 21, 2013 on the latter’s increase in authorized capital stock from P80 million to P1 billion.
On October 31, 2013, EWRB acquired the good assets of Green Bank, Inc. (also known as the Rural Green Bank of Caraga), the largest rural bank in the Caraga Region in terms of assets. Based in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Green Bank has been serving the needs of mostly farmers, government and private employees, barangay officials, pensioners and small-scale businessmen. Through Green Bank’s strong branch network in the Visayas and Mindanao, EastWest is able to gain entry into the microfinance business.
Before the asset acquisition, Green Bank, Inc. has been known as a multi-awarded trailblazer in the area of housing microfinance. It was one of the first participating banks under the Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (MABS), a program designed to accelerate national economic transformation by encouraging Philippine rural banks to significantly expand the financial services they offer to microentrepreneurs and low-income households in the countryside. Green Bank was also recognized as among the first to use the services of an independent credit ratings agency to boost its loan quality.
Backed by the strong track record of the entities behind it, EastWest Rural Bank will be able to cater to the underserved segments of the market specifically in the provincial areas and provide wider access to innovative products and delivery channels. It offers deposits and loans, including DepEd Salary Loan, Business Loan and SSS Pension Loan. EastWest Rural Bank has a total of 47 stores concentrated mostly in the Visayas and Mindanao.
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