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Philippines' best bank for SMEs 2019: Security Bank

Security Bank

Sanjiv Vohra, President and CEO, Security Bank.jpg
Sanjiv Vohra, Security Bank

Lending to small and medium-sized enterprises has never been easy in the Philippines. That may be surprising given that SMEs account for more than 90% of registered businesses and make a large contribution to the national economy. But poor credit information has held back what should be one of the country’s most promising market segments. 

Hats off then to Security Bank, the seventh-largest bank by assets, which has not only transformed this into a successful core business, but also made it look easy.

Security Bank, now led by chief executive and president Sanjiv Vohra, demonstrated outstanding commitment to the particular needs of its SME clients over the review period.

The bank’s small business loans portfolio grew by a remarkable 137% in 2018 and continued its strong momentum in the first quarter of 2019. Small business loans as a percentage of total consumer loans almost doubled from 5% in the first quarter of 2018 to 9% in the first quarter of 2019.

Analysts speak favourably of the bank’s digital innovations, its electronic cash management services and its ability to wheel out new products. A good example of the latter is Business Express Loans. This reduces the processing turnaround for SME loan applications of up to P5 million ($95,000) from three weeks to a maximum of five days.

“Security Bank is a solid niche bank,” says one senior research analyst in Manila. “They are extremely good at what they do and they have decided to grow in the consumer and SME space.”