By CARMELITO Q. FRANCISCO
DAVAO City — CARD Bank Inc., the banking arm of the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), is planning to set up two more branches in Mindanao within the next few months, after opening its 11th branch in the southern island last week.
“We already mapped areas to where we will expand our operations. These include the unbanked rural areas and island towns in the country,” Flordeliza L. Sarmiento, managing director of the bank, said in a statement following the opening of the branch in Malita, Davao Occidental.
The planned branches would be located in Midsayap, North Cotabato and in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley.
Ms. Sarmiento said the expansion is part of the strategy to reach 40 million clients by 2020 from about eight million at present.
Aside from regular deposits of as low as P100, the bank also offers a remittance facility and financial services, particularly loans that cover education, housing, businesses and calamity rehabilitation.
Loans to businesses of as much as P300,000 can be processed without collateral.
Aside from the CARD Bank, the CARD MRI group also has smaller microfinance offices that cater to loans for members.
Clarita G. Mercado, Mindanao cluster head at the bank, said it has also partnered with other local remittance centers to give more options to members as CARD Bank’s remittance program could be tied up with the micro-insurance facility.
“For only P20 a week, clients already have insurance together with a retirement savings fund,” said Ms. Mercado.
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