SB Finance to launch digital platform as it seeks to expand customer base

SB FINANCE CO., Inc., the joint venture consumer lending firm of Security Bank Corp. and Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri), is set to beef up its digital capabilities as it seeks to attract more borrowers.

The company is awaiting regulatory approval for a capital infusion worth P3 billion, which will be used to boost its operations.

“That investment will be used to finance our expansion, strengthen internal capabilities. At least for this year, we are allocating 15% of that for our digital investments,” SB Finance Chief Financial Officer Joy V. Supan said at an online briefing on Tuesday.

“We are just waiting for regulatory approvals. We’re expecting the first half to come in hopefully this month and the second half in June or July, depending on how soon we can get regulatory approvals,” Ms. Supan said.

SB Finance Chief Executive Officer Abigail Marie D. Casanova said they will be launching a digital platform “soon” for customers and would-be borrowers.

“We have about more than 30,000 clients at the moment, and these are legacy clients from the time SB Finance was a full-time subsidiary of Security Bank,” she said.

Ms. Casanova said while the consumer finance industry experienced a challenging year in 2020 “as expected” due to the crisis, they have already started seeing an improvement in asset quality.

Security Bank, SB Finance’s local parent, saw its income drop by 26.7% to P7.4 billion in 2020 from P10.1 billion in 2019 as it beefed up loan loss provisions in view of the crisis.

The listed lender’s shares closed at P115.40 apiece on Tuesday, up by 40 centavos or by 0.35% from its previous finish. — L.W.T. Noble

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