Teachers loans still resilient: City Savings prexy

Teachers loans still resilient: City Savings prexy

City Savings Bank, a thrift bank subsidiary of Union Bank of the Philippines, has dubbed as resilient their teachers’ loan portfolio even with payment suspensions during the quarantine period.

In a reply to questions from the Philippine News Agency (PNA), City Savings Bank President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lorenzo Ocampo said they continue to offer loans to educators even if “Department of Education (DepEd) has suspended the collections for the months of April and May.”

The suspension was made in line with the “To Heal as One Act”, which suspended the collection of payments of loans from banks and other lending institutions that are due within the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) since March 17, 2020, initially in mainland Luzon.

Ocampo said they currently have about 330,000 outstanding teachers’ loans.

He said net non-performing loans (NPL) before the ECQ stood at about 4.86 percent.

“We consider this portfolio to be very resilient, as the teachers continue to be paid their salaries. We also have a very organized salary deduction system in place via the DepEd,” he added.

Teachers’ loan is a bane for the banking industry in the past because of some borrowers’ inability to pay their debts.

Meanwhile, CitySavings’ mother unit, UnionBank, continues to push for digitalization to boost the business despite the disruption caused by the global pandemic.

During the virtual annual stockholders meeting (ASM) Friday, UnionBank President and CEO Edwin Bautista said the importance of digital presence and operations increased during the quarantine period.

“Because of this, we achieved record highs in the month of March in terms of digital account opening in our UnionBank Online app, as well as corporate enrollment into our platform, The Portal,” he said.

He, however, declined to give any figure.

Bautista said the bank’s digital capabilities allowed the financial institution to deliver critical operations and support to customers “with 80-90 percent of UnionBankers effectively working from home throughout the ECQ and first weeks of MECQ (Modified ECQ), with the rest representing the Bank’s branch, and operations-support front-liners”.

He said learnings and experiences during the ECQ increased their resolve to “carry on with Phase 3 of our digital transformation strategy, which is the year of commercialization and monetization of the bank’s initiatives”.

“Going forward, we believe that data analytics and AI (artificial intelligence) will be critical cornerstone-technologies that will drive us to the next level of our digitization,” he added. (PNA)

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