The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is affirming its support for the government’s National Strategy for Financial Inclusion or NSFI 2022-2028 through initiatives that push for financial wellness, as well as infrastructure and sustainable development, as aligned with the bank’s goal to promote inclusive economic growth.
“Banking the unbanked is the first area by which we see our involvement in the public-private collaboration. We aspire for a better Philippines, a nation that is inclusive and sustainable. This reinforces our commitment to help our country grow by providing relevant, innovative, and accessible financial solutions for all Filipinos,” said BPI President and CEO Jose Teodoro K. Limcaoco.
In the next three years, the Bank is undertaking deliberate efforts to increase to nearly a million its serviced self-employed microentrepreneur (SEME) clients. “The more self-employed micro-entrepreneurs are banked, the better their chances of achieving their long-term financial goals,” Limcaoco added.
BPI aims to achieve this target by 2025 through BanKo’s NegosyoKo solution, which will give SEMEs access to easy, convenient, and affordable ways to fund the operations or grow their businesses. “In the process, we realize our financial inclusion goals as well, contributing therefore to the NSFI agenda,” he said.
Limcaoco also disclosed that the Bank will continue to work with the new administration in the area of infrastructure development.
As BPI continues to enable the infrastructure space —which Limcaoco said is a catalyst for sustainable development and the country’s overall progress—the Bank will continue to support the government’s Build, Build, Build program through project financing. In 2021, BPI SDF released Php 2.5 Bn for investments in sustainable infrastructure.
BPI’s financial services for first-rate infrastructure projects will also continue. “Our communities need them for a better chance at increasing their productivity and therefore a better chance at inclusive growth,” he pointed out.
BPI remains focused in continuing its work on sustainability, as efforts toward this end are deeply entrenched in BPI’s way of doing business, said Limcaoco.
Through its Sustainable Development Finance, the Bank has disbursed nearly Php 75 Bn for projects that help bring about a sustainable Philippines.
“Proudly, through the SDF, we comply with the Sustainable Finance Framework of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and we will continue to do so, as we also look for avenues through which we can work with government agencies in promoting sustainable banking practices,” said Limcaoco.
In promoting financial wellness programs, BPI Foundation, the Bank’s social responsibility arm, looks after underserved communities, such as self-employed and start-up micro and small enterprises, which badly need guidance on proper financial management and even capital to kick start their big ideas and livelihood.
“Sustained financial education and enterprise development and livelihood interventions can stimulate inclusive growth,” he said.
Outside of Foundation programs, BPI is also reinforcing financial literacy through its various business units. In 2021, for example, the BPI Asset Management and Trust Corporation, or BPI Trust, created the podcast series, Wealth Radio, which reached 12,000 listeners with more than 58,000 plays.
BPI also conducts #BPIFinancialEducationFriday, an ongoing public service awareness campaign that articulates basic banking and financial management concepts via social media.
“Now, 2022 is a pivotal year for the country as we see a changing of the guard. The new government has been given a fresh and strong mandate to pursue socio-economic reforms. It’s not an easy task. Therefore, we urge both the public and private sector to work together in nation-building towards a sustainable and inclusive Philippines,” Limcaoco said.