RBAP-MABS reviews RB Gattaran’s Microfinance Operations

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The USAID-supported RBAP-MABS Program, with its commitment to supporting its partner rural banks in enhancing their microfinance products, services and operations, conducted an operations and product review for the Rural Bank of Gattaran on March 1-3, 2011. The activity was to identify the bank’s strengths and areas for improvement, and to provide recommendations to address the latter.

RBAP-MABS assessed the bank’s microfinance performance, microfinance loan products, delivery systems, loan documentation, and management information systems (MIS) through report reviews, focus group discussions, desk reviews of loan files, and client visits. From its findings and observations, RBAP-MABS provided recommendations to improve the bank’s product design and operational procedures.

gattaran ops rev 2RB Gattaran is based in Cagayan province. It is a 3-unit bank with a main office in Gattaran and two branches in Allacapan and Gonzaga. It also operates information offices in Sta. Marcela, Apayao as extension of Allacapan Branch; and in Baggao as extension office for the main branch in Gattaran. Being the only RBAP-MABS participating bank in the area and is the largest provider of microfinance banking services in the municipalities where it operates.

To date, RB Gattaran is serving almost 3,400 micro-entrepreneurs in Cagayan province. The bank was established on April 23, 1975 to support the financial needs of the agricultural sector, particularly rice and corn farmers.  They have been offering microfinance services since 2004. As of March 2011, the bank already offers three microfinance loan products – group loans, Katuparan individual loans, and micro-agri loans.

gattaran ops rev 3The bank is continuously improving its services by installing NationLink ATMs in all its branches, enhancing its MIS and servicing collections for the local electric cooperative in the area. It now plans to establish about 12 other banking offices (OBOs), introduce a Housing Microfinance Loan Product, and offer mobile phone banking services via the GCASH platform.