USAID visits First Valley Bank in Zamboanga City

A team from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Philippines conducted an exposure visit to First Valley Bank’s Zamboanga City branch on October 27. In the team were Ms. Gloria Steele, USAID/Philippines Mission Director; Ms. Ruth Levine, Deputy Assistant Administrator and Director of Evaluation of the USAID Bureau of Programs, Planning, and Learning; Mr. Wade Warren, Acting Chief Operating Officer at the Office of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Director; and Ms. Teresita Espenilla, MABS Program Manager.
Established in 1956, First Valley Bank is the third largest rural bank in Mindanao and the largest in Northwestern Mindanao with 22 branches and 8 other banking offices (OBOs). It joined the MABS Program in 1999 as one of the 10 first rollout banks, and has since then been one of the most active in offering microfinance products and services to its clients through the MABS Approach. First Valley Bank is a pioneer in mobile phone banking and all of its branches offer microfinance products and services for micro business owners, small farmers, and other low income groups. As of August 2010, the bank has already disbursed over PhP1.2 billion ($27 million) to over 15,300 micro-borrowers. It also serves over 110,000 new micro depositors with a total deposit balance of more than PhP135 million ($3 million).
The team visited the bank’s Zamboanga City branch, which serves Christian and Muslim communities, as well as cultural minority groups like the Tausugs, Badjaos, Samals and Subanens. It offers savings and time deposit services, and loans to salaried employees, farmers, and seamen. The branch started operating in 2007 and now has over 3,000 borrowers and close to 4,000 depositors. The branch is strong in savings mobilization, and funding its loan portfolio with the deposits it generates. As of Sept 2010, the branch’s total deposits balance amounted to about PhP187 million, while the loans outstanding totaled PhP191 million.
During the visit to the branch, the team got to meet some of the bank’s microfinance clients, including Ms. Marilyn Quimba and Ms. Emma Nalzaro. Ms. Quimba, who operates a sari-sari (variety) store earning about P3,000/day and a 9-door boarding house for students earning PhP9,000/month, has been a client of First Valley Bank since 2008. With the help of her loans, she was able to expand her store, whose profits she used to fund the gradual construction of her boarding house. She accepts GCash as payment for her two businesses and offers GCash services for airtime loading.
Ms. Nalzaro, on the other hand, has been a client of the bank since 2009. She owns a mini-grocery, which earns about Php5,000/day, and a photocopying machine, which earns about Php1,000 daily. She is currently on her 4th loan and her loans from the bank helped her grow her business from a net worth of about Php20,000 to Php200,000.

USAID visit to First Valley BankA team from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Philippines conducted an exposure visit to First Valley Bank’s Zamboanga City branch on October 27. In the team were Ms. Gloria Steele, USAID/Philippines Mission Director; Ms. Ruth Levine, Deputy Assistant Administrator and Director of Evaluation of the USAID Bureau of Programs, Planning, and Learning; Mr. Wade Warren, Acting Chief Operating Officer at the Office of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Director; and Ms. Teresita Espenilla, MABS Program Manager.

Established in 1956, First Valley Bank is the third largest rural bank in Mindanao and the largest in Northwestern Mindanao with 22 branches and 8 other banking offices (OBOs). It joined the MABS Program in 1999 as one of the 10 first rollout banks, and has since then been one of the most active in offering microfinance products and services to its clients through the MABS Approach. First Valley Bank is a pioneer in mobile phone banking and all of its branches offer microfinance products and services for micro business owners, small farmers, and other low income groups. As of August 2010, the bank has already disbursed over PhP1.2 billion ($27 million) to over 15,300 micro-borrowers. It also serves over 110,000 new micro depositors with a total deposit balance of more than PhP135 million ($3 million).

USAID visit

The team visited the bank’s Zamboanga City branch, which serves Christian and Muslim communities, as well as cultural minority groups like the Tausugs, Badjaos, Samals and Subanens. It offers savings and time deposit services, and loans to salaried employees, farmers, and seamen. The branch started operating in 2007 and now has over 3,000 borrowers and close to 4,000 depositors. The branch is strong in savings mobilization, and funding its loan portfolio with the deposits it generates. As of Sept 2010, the branch’s total deposits balance amounted to about PhP187 million, while the loans outstanding totaled PhP191 million.

USAID visitDuring the visit to the branch, the team got to meet some of the bank’s microfinance clients, including Ms. Marilyn Quimba and Ms. Emma Nalzaro. Ms. Quimba, who operates a sari-sari (variety) store earning about P3,000/day and a 9-door boarding house for students earning PhP9,000/month, has been a client of First Valley Bank since 2008. With the help of her loans, she was able to expand her store, whose profits she used to fund the gradual construction of her boarding house. She accepts GCash as payment for her two businesses and offers GCash services for airtime loading.

Ms. Nalzaro, on the other hand, has been a client of the bank since 2009. She owns a mini-grocery, which earns about Php5,000/day, and a photocopying machine, which earns about Php1,000 daily. She is currently on her 4th loan and her loans from the bank helped her grow her business from a net worth of about Php20,000 to Php200,000.