Company History ORBS was incorporated in 1974 by a small group of stockholders from the town of Shares located 25 kilometers away from the capital city in a province in Southern Mindanao. Since its founding, ORBS remained the only banking institution operating in this town of about 45,000 people. After its founding, the bank immediately found patronage among the townsfolk so that its stockholders, who were all townspeople of Shares had high hopes for their bank.
Within a few years, however, the bank came into serious uncial difficulties.
Whether because of lack of foresight or because of pressure from government agencies during the Marco’s regime, ORBS, like nearly all rural banks in the country at that time, assumed heavy exposure in the governments disastrous countryside lending program called Manage 99 which resulted in millions of pesos of unsecured and unaccountable loans to rice and corn farmers for the bank.
For nearly two decades, the bank, burdened by these unaccountable loans, eked out a survival existence as the Central Bank authorities allowed the bank to carry these uncorrectable accounts in its books and gradually write these off against whatever operating income the bank earned from its regular lending activities through the years.
Until recently, therefore, the bank had not been able to expand or pay dividends to its stockholders.
Progress in Recent Years Under pressure from the Central bank authorities, the stockholders of the bank were forced to infuse in 1990 another UP million in the fresh equity investments in ORBS to beef up its depleted resources or face closure by the Central Bank.
By dint of patient management and ireful husbanding of its resources, the ORBS management was able to rehabilitate the bank and expand both its deposit base and its loan volume. In 1993, ORBS reported modest profits for the first time after years of breakable operations.
Because of this history, Argues financial report for 1995 visibly heartened the stockholders gathered in the meeting that morning. The Planned Branch Expansion to the City Argues Justified his proposal to open a branch office in the capital city on two grounds. First, he felt that the limits to expanding both its deposit base and ending activities in the small town of Shares had already been reached. Second, the market for loans and deposits was perceived to be larger in the capital city which was the financial and commercial center of the province with a population more than ten times that of Shares.
The opportunities in the city could be seen in the fact that many current borrowers of the bank were residents of the capital city, according to the general manager. These borrowers could be better served if ORBS established a branch office in the city, not to mention the more attractive deposit taking capabilities that would result from this move, he added. Argues estimated the expansion to require approximately ten million pesos, as follows Land acquisition (300 sq. M. ) UP million Building Construction and Fixtures 0. Million Total 8 million Equipment 10. 5 million He explained that UP million would be generated internally and the UP million would be sourced through a loan from a large commercial bank with a branch in the city. He stressed that the time for consolidation was over and the bank was now in a position to ruse a more aggressive expansion strategy. Reactions from the Stockholders There were mixed reactions from the stockholders to Mr.. Argues proposal. Two stockholders expressed general skepticism of the plan.
Stockholder 1 why do we want to expand to the city where branches of the big banks in Manila are located Can we compete with those Argues The branches of the Manila banks do not cater to small loans of say IIOP,OHO to 400,000. This is why we have borrowers from the City. The branches of Manila banks will not entertain them. This is our niche in the loan market Stockholder 1 But there are two other rural banks in the City which can do what we do. Argues Then, its a game of who can do it better.
Im not afraid of them as competitors. I think we can compete effectively through better service. How do you think we’ve managed to get so many borrowers from the City to come to Shares and borrow from us Stockholder 2 Why do you have to buy land and build a building Can’t you Just rent space the way other banks do This way you can reduce the capital required drastically. Argues I don’t like renting. You spend a lot to build a nice branch office and then they’ll increase the rent and you’re stuck.