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IFC and RCBC Sign Agreement to Provide Non-Financial Services to Boost SMEs


In Manila, the Philippines
Felix S. Bautista, Jr.
Phone: +632 465 2705
E-mail: fbautista@ifc.org


Manila, the Philippines, November 10, 2015—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group signed an agreement with Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation to help design non-financial services, strategies, and products for small and medium enterprises in the Philippines.

Non-financial services are value-added services that are essential for the growth of SMEs, but are difficult for SMEs to access. These include knowledge sharing, capacity development, business mentoring, and business networking. Small and medium enterprises employ around 30 percent of the country’s total workforce and produce one-third of its gross domestic product. Strengthening this sector will create jobs and diversify the country’s economic base.

“Providing non-financial services is a win-win situation for both SME owners and RCBC,” said RCBC President and Chief Executive Officer Lorenzo Tan. “Entrepreneurs gain additional skills to grow their businesses while RCBC gets valuable insights into the issues they face. This will help us design products that better serve their needs.”

IFC will work with RCBC to review its current non-financial services capacity, understand its clients’ needs, and analyze market trends to design a customized non-financial services strategy to help the bank’s SME clients grow their businesses.

“Philippine banks increasingly see SMEs as a worthwhile market segment,” said Yuan (Jane) Xu, IFC’s country manager for the Philippines. “We will help RCBC build and retain its client base by providing financial and non-financial services to meet SME needs and preferences.”

The agreement furthers IFC’s continuing assistance to RCBC’s Small and Medium Enterprises Lending Program. IFC recently completed a project to help develop RCBC’s Women in Business Program to significantly improve the bank’s offering to women entrepreneurs. Women own about 70 percent of the country’s SMEs and face unique challenges in accessing credit. The project won the IFC CEO Gender Award for IFC’s East Asia Pacific team.

This year alone, RCBC won Best SME Bank of the Philippines from The Asian Banker and SME Bank of the Year—Philippines from Asian Banking and Finance.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

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About RCBC
The Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) is one of the largest universal banks in the Philippines with total consolidated resources of Php457.9 billion as of end-2014. As a diversified financial services institution, RCBC serves corporate and individual banking needs through the most appropriate vehicles to serve its chosen markets with innovative products and services.