By Maya M. Padillo
Commercial bank Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) Davao will be re-inaugurated today as part of its re-branding and change of image to reach a niche market.
PVB vice president and division head for corporate and consumer relations Miguel Angelo Villa-Real told media that the that bank’s efforts are geared to help change the public’s perception of it as a purely government bank that only caters to retired veterans personnel. He said the new image is that of a private commercial bank.
“We are re-branding it and we are trying to reach the niche market because previously we didn’t have enough reach because of the image of the bank almost 10 years since it reopened. When we did research people thought PVB only caters to veterans,” Villa-Real said.
The bank cannot change its name because it is part of a Republic Act that created it.
Villa-Real said based on their research, clients want speedy transactions and flexible terms. He said with the bank’s new image, they are trying to reach a market that is not the primary market of the big banks. He said they are trying to compete in the market and hopefully it’s a niche market that they can penetrate.
“The banking industry is very competitive yet very regulated so you have to balance between the two. This is our challenge and that is what we’re trying to do. We are not trying to compete with the big banks. We are trying to veer away from the ‘veterans-only’ image,” he said.
Villa-Real said they are also eyeing the veterans’ descendants as a market because many of them are prominent people and because, by law, the bank is owned by World War II veterans.
“They have a sense of ownership and many of us don’t know that we are actually descendants of World War II veterans,” he said.
A “Tribute Wall” will be unveiled during today’s ceremonies as a tribute to World War II veterans of Davao.
“The reason why we’re doing it here today is that this is the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of Davao City and I don’t know if many know that. Liberation Day is actually celebrated by the local government the veterans and the descendants but here the veterans are not that active anymore,” he said.
Nationwide, there are only about 9,000 remaining World War II veterans out of the original 400,000. Villa-Real said the Tribute Wall is the bank’s way of paying homage to the history of Davao during World War II.
“It’s all documented there in that history wall and that is open to the public and you don’t have to be a veterans and depositors to go there. Apart from photos and text there is a TV screen that displays World war II documentaries courtesy of History Channel,” Villa-Real said.
The renovated branch is part of the bank’s “Bank with a Heart” rebranding campaign. The centerpiece is the four-panel History Wall alongside two display cases that contain artifacts, paraphernalia and memorabilia from the war.
PVB has 60 branches nationwide with assets of P50 billion.