China Bank Savings (CBS) – APEA – Asia Pacific Enterprise Awards

OUTSTANDING CATEGORY

ALBERTO EMILIO V. RAMOS
DIRECTOR AND PRESIDENT


China Bank Savings (CBS)
6772 Ayala Avenue, Makati City, Metro Manila
+632 478 1950
www.cbs.com.ph


ALBERTO EMILIO V. RAMOS has worked in the financial industry in various executive roles for more than 30 years. An alumnus of De La Salle University in Manila with a double degree in Political Science and Marketing Management, he also earned his Master in Business Management (MBM) degree from the prestigious Asian Institute of Management (AIM).

Mr. Ramos has been serving as Director and President of China Bank Savings (CBS) since 2011. Before taking on his present role, he was head of the Private Banking Group of parent China Banking Corporation (China Bank), where he holds rank of Executive Vice President and represents the parent bank’s interests in the boards of its affiliate companies.

“We had faith that the economy would grow,” Mr. Ramos enthuses. “Around this time, we also grew our own consumer lending business—beginning with cars, then homes for the expanding middle class. As the economy went from strength to strength, we recognized the demands for inclusion and participation of all Filipinos. CBS is the concrete application of the inclusiveness finance advocacy that started with parent China Bank and is a continuation of its legacy as a bank for the rising class of entrepreneurs.”

With Mr. Ramos taking lead, CBS began a rapid march to growth. By 2013, CBS transformed into a modest operation with a brick-and-mortar network of 40 branches consisting of 29 full service branches and 11 mini branches also known as Easi-Banking Branches or EBBs.

Close colleagues describe Mr. Ramos as a man who has a keen eye for spotting openings to do business. “Entrepreneurship is the ability to spot opportunities in the challenges that life throws at us,” Mr. Ramos says. “When you see an opening for growth, you must be relentless and resolute in pursuing the opportunity.” Having been in sales himself, Mr. Ramos challenges managers to think on their feet, and be nimble and quick to market. This is how CBS has evolved itself over the past six years from a small thrift bank to a nationwide community bank with the capability of servicing a diverse clientele.

With an eye to tap new markets and establish the brand in provincial areas, he led CBS in absorbing Unity Bank, a rural bank, in 2014. This move allowed CBS to enter the consumer segment for multi-purpose loans to public school teachers and non-teaching staff of the Department of Education, and accelerate its drive towards inclusive banking.

Even this watershed event was overshadowed in December 2015 when CBS implemented the merger with Planters Development Bank (Plantersbank), a much larger institution and the country’s leading Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) bank at the time.

The merger was no easy feat for Mr. Ramos and his combined team. During the transition period, Mr. Ramos served as fulcrum, balancing the two management teams, bridging two cultures and ways of doing things, and touring the country to introduce the brand to the merged bank’s talents and clients.

“As a bank’s organization and operations grow and increase in complexity, it becomes more important to provide a corporate climate that allows all levels to identify with the corporate whole,” Mr. Ramos says. “Success lies in the ability to fuse our varied skills, strengths and talents—whether your shop is on the frontline of sales or in support operations—everyone is a valuable part of Team CBS.” The idea is not regimentation of thought but to nurture a common identity and sense of mission, to create a corporate culture that is conducive for dialogue, Mr. Ramos asserts.

Within a year of the merger, Mr. Ramos led his team to prove the soundness of the CBS business model and transforming the combined institution into a profitable member of the China Bank Group. In this short time, CBS has catapulted from “new kid on the block” to become one of the leading thrift banks in the country. With 158 branches nationwide and a network of Loan Sales Offices and Specialized Lending Business Centers, China Bank Savings is in a unique position to serve consumers and SME segments. “We are a community bank where people feel a sense of inclusion or belonging, thus our balanced customer base of consumer accounts and SME borrowers, and even a growing number of corporate accounts,” Mr. Ramos explains.

Mr. Ramos puts a premium on working with SMEs, which provides 65% of jobs and generates 40% of the country’s gross national product. “We take the ‘hand-holding’ approach to SME banking,” he says. “Our connection with the SME does not end with the release of the loan. Lending to SMEs might be costly and challenging, but if it is done properly, SME finance will prove profitable and fulfilling.”

CBS also promotes a culture of engagement with the larger community. CBS employees volunteer for the annual nationwide Brigada Eskwela program to refurbish and rehabilitate public schools and undertake regular nutrition projects under the Busog Lusog program of the Department of Education. Employees are also engaged in raising material support and funds for indigenous people and minority communities, like the recent Tulong sa Marawi for Muslim Maranao schoolchildren in the war zone and ongoing Project RED to support literacy and home schooling among the semi-nomadic Dumagat minority in the foothills of the Sierra Madre.

“We do not want to disappoint our internal fans—our shareholders who are watching us closely,” according to Mr. Ramos. “And we want to please our external fans, the loyal clients and even occasional customers whom we want to continue to cheer for us with their repeat business and referrals.” In his case, Mr. Ramos spends a significant of executive time with the Service Committee and devotes effort to meet and mingle with employees, especially the staff. Mr. Ramos repeatedly says CBS must focus on exemplary customer service and leverage the Bank’s strong tradition of personalized service for SME and consumer clients to attract borrowers and keep them coming back.

“To be the bank that stands for financial inclusiveness, we must be the brand that makes banking easy and accessible to everyone, whether you are a first-time depositor or asset accumulator, a student, a wage-earner or an entrepreneur,” he affirms. This is best captured in the CBS signature Easy Banking for You service promise, which seeks to build strong and lasting partnerships with customers from all walks of life, and provide them with innovative and accessible products.

Mr. Ramos envisions China Bank Savings to be the “leading savings bank preferred by the markets we serve”, i.e. a “one-stop shop” community bank that promotes financial inclusiveness is focused on exemplary service to the broad Consumer and the Small, Medium as well as Emerging Large Enterprises, and is dedicated to uplifting the quality of life in the communities wherever Team CBS operates.

OUTSTANDING CATEGORY

ALBERTO EMILIO V. RAMOS
DIRECTOR AND PRESIDENT

ALBERTO EMILIO V. RAMOS has worked in the financial industry in various executive roles for more than 30 years. An alumnus of De La Salle University in Manila with a double degree in Political Science and Marketing Management, he also earned his Master in Business Management (MBM) degree from the prestigious Asian Institute of Management (AIM).

Mr. Ramos has been serving as Director and President of China Bank Savings (CBS) since 2011. Before taking on his present role, he was head of the Private Banking Group of parent China Banking Corporation (China Bank), where he holds rank of Executive Vice President and represents the parent bank’s interests in the boards of its affiliate companies.

“We had faith that the economy would grow,” Mr. Ramos enthuses. “Around this time, we also grew our own consumer lending business—beginning with cars, then homes for the expanding middle class. As the economy went from strength to strength, we recognized the demands for inclusion and participation of all Filipinos. CBS is the concrete application of the inclusiveness finance advocacy that started with parent China Bank and is a continuation of its legacy as a bank for the rising class of entrepreneurs.”

With Mr. Ramos taking lead, CBS began a rapid march to growth. By 2013, CBS transformed into a modest operation with a brick-and-mortar network of 40 branches consisting of 29 full service branches and 11 mini branches also known as Easi-Banking Branches or EBBs.

Close colleagues describe Mr. Ramos as a man who has a keen eye for spotting openings to do business. “Entrepreneurship is the ability to spot opportunities in the challenges that life throws at us,” Mr. Ramos says. “When you see an opening for growth, you must be relentless and resolute in pursuing the opportunity.” Having been in sales himself, Mr. Ramos challenges managers to think on their feet, and be nimble and quick to market. This is how CBS has evolved itself over the past six years from a small thrift bank to a nationwide community bank with the capability of servicing a diverse clientele.


China Bank Savings (CBS)
6772 Ayala Avenue, Makati City, Metro Manila
+632 478 1950
www.cbs.com.ph


With an eye to tap new markets and establish the brand in provincial areas, he led CBS in absorbing Unity Bank, a rural bank, in 2014. This move allowed CBS to enter the consumer segment for multi-purpose loans to public school teachers and non-teaching staff of the Department of Education, and accelerate its drive towards inclusive banking.

Even this watershed event was overshadowed in December 2015 when CBS implemented the merger with Planters Development Bank (Plantersbank), a much larger institution and the country’s leading Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) bank at the time.

The merger was no easy feat for Mr. Ramos and his combined team. During the transition period, Mr. Ramos served as fulcrum, balancing the two management teams, bridging two cultures and ways of doing things, and touring the country to introduce the brand to the merged bank’s talents and clients.

“As a bank’s organization and operations grow and increase in complexity, it becomes more important to provide a corporate climate that allows all levels to identify with the corporate whole,” Mr. Ramos says. “Success lies in the ability to fuse our varied skills, strengths and talents—whether your shop is on the frontline of sales or in support operations—everyone is a valuable part of Team CBS.” The idea is not regimentation of thought but to nurture a common identity and sense of mission, to create a corporate culture that is conducive for dialogue, Mr. Ramos asserts.

Within a year of the merger, Mr. Ramos led his team to prove the soundness of the CBS business model and transforming the combined institution into a profitable member of the China Bank Group. In this short time, CBS has catapulted from “new kid on the block” to become one of the leading thrift banks in the country. With 158 branches nationwide and a network of Loan Sales Offices and Specialized Lending Business Centers, China Bank Savings is in a unique position to serve consumers and SME segments. “We are a community bank where people feel a sense of inclusion or belonging, thus our balanced customer base of consumer accounts and SME borrowers, and even a growing number of corporate accounts,” Mr. Ramos explains.

Mr. Ramos puts a premium on working with SMEs, which provides 65% of jobs and generates 40% of the country’s gross national product. “We take the ‘hand-holding’ approach to SME banking,” he says. “Our connection with the SME does not end with the release of the loan. Lending to SMEs might be costly and challenging, but if it is done properly, SME finance will prove profitable and fulfilling.”

CBS also promotes a culture of engagement with the larger community. CBS employees volunteer for the annual nationwide Brigada Eskwela program to refurbish and rehabilitate public schools and undertake regular nutrition projects under the Busog Lusog program of the Department of Education. Employees are also engaged in raising material support and funds for indigenous people and minority communities, like the recent Tulong sa Marawi for Muslim Maranao schoolchildren in the war zone and ongoing Project RED to support literacy and home schooling among the semi-nomadic Dumagat minority in the foothills of the Sierra Madre.

“We do not want to disappoint our internal fans—our shareholders who are watching us closely,” according to Mr. Ramos. “And we want to please our external fans, the loyal clients and even occasional customers whom we want to continue to cheer for us with their repeat business and referrals.” In his case, Mr. Ramos spends a significant of executive time with the Service Committee and devotes effort to meet and mingle with employees, especially the staff. Mr. Ramos repeatedly says CBS must focus on exemplary customer service and leverage the Bank’s strong tradition of personalized service for SME and consumer clients to attract borrowers and keep them coming back.

“To be the bank that stands for financial inclusiveness, we must be the brand that makes banking easy and accessible to everyone, whether you are a first-time depositor or asset accumulator, a student, a wage-earner or an entrepreneur,” he affirms. This is best captured in the CBS signature Easy Banking for You service promise, which seeks to build strong and lasting partnerships with customers from all walks of life, and provide them with innovative and accessible products.

Mr. Ramos envisions China Bank Savings to be the “leading savings bank preferred by the markets we serve”, i.e. a “one-stop shop” community bank that promotes financial inclusiveness is focused on exemplary service to the broad Consumer and the Small, Medium as well as Emerging Large Enterprises, and is dedicated to uplifting the quality of life in the communities wherever Team CBS operates.