Rural bank wins microfinance int’l award

Rural bank Country Builders Bank (CBB) has bagged the award for the country’s “Best Micro Finance Bank” for 2023 from the Global Banking & Finance Review, a magazine based in the United Kingdom.

CBB President Mike Sandig said on Saturday, Feb. 4, that the bank’s “efforts to change the business model of micro-lending by making it more inclusive, open, and accommodating” was recognized in the global community.

Country Builders Bank

Sandig said that what they are doing is different from the traditional model. He described the traditional set up as “more stringent and tedious as it required numerous documents and longer processing time, thus excluding many customers especially those with no prior banking experience.”

The magazine award apparently recognized banks and other financial institutions that have "the innovation, achievement, strategy, progressive and inspirational changes taking place within the global financial community."

Sandig said that specifically, the recognition acknowledged the bank's innovative approach to micro lending. CBB not only serves micro, small and medium enterprises, but also agricultural businesses, as well as businessmen, professionals, teachers, vendors, government and private employees.

Besides CBB, the UK-based magazine also recognized Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. as “Best Retail Bank Philippines” for 2023 and also “Best Commercial Bank Philippines”.

Based on its website, CBB grew out of the consolidation of two rural banks in 2012, the Country Rural Bank of Taguig and Builders Rural Bank.

In 2017, CBB again merged with another rural bank, First Macro Bank with CBB as the surviving bank.

The bank currently has 33 branches or sites in Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan.