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Philippines' best bank for SMEs 2017: Security Bank

Security Bank

Security Bank is a well-oiled universal bank with a solid nationwide presence – 264 branches and 560 ATMs at the end of 2016 – and a thriving thrift bank, Security Bank Savings. The lender, which in 2016 sold a 20% stake to Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi for $774 million, reported a 28% rise in net interest income in 2016, with total deposits up 20%. Its non-performing loan ratio fell to just 0.17% at the end of last year, an all-time low.

Productive and profitable, this is one of the most robust lenders the Philippines has to offer. But its real talent comes to the fore when catering to the country’s growing army of small and medium-sized enterprises.

“SMEs are their niche,” says a Manila-based banker. “They know they cannot compete with the big banks on the big corporates, so they’ve made this their segment. They’re very strong.”

Its SME Business Express Loan service – which includes minimal documentary requirements, fast approval and auto-crediting of funds – targets fast-growing young firms looking to meet short-term funding needs.

Philippine lenders haven’t always been great at catering to thriving young enterprises, but in Security Bank under chief executive Alfonso Salcedo Jr, SMEs have a champion.