Land Bank of the Philippines Snaps Up an International Banker Banking Award

Land Bank of the Philippines Is the Winner of a Prestigious International Banker Award: Best Customer Service Provider of the Year Asia 2016.

International Banker recently held its annual Banking Awards to acknowledge the top Asian and Australasian banking institutions and individuals. The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) received the award for Best Customer Service Provider of the Year Asia 2016.

International Banker offers a global view of banking and finance. Each year through the Banking Awards, it recognises the leading banking institutions and individuals that have set the bar for industry excellence. The 2016 Banking Awards acknowledge the organisations and individuals within the banking and financial industries in Asia and Australasia that drive global economic commerce, create capital and opportunities for economic growth within their regions, set the benchmarks for technological advancement and customer service, while maintaining high levels of regulatory compliance and corporate governance. The standout institutions working within retail, commercial, investment and private banking are recognized with these awards. In addition, special awards are given to outstanding CEOs in each region.

Honoured with an award to acknowledge and celebrate its innovation and leadership in the area of banking customer service in Asia, LANDBANK has achieved a prominent position on the 2016 International Banker Asia and Australasian Banking Awards list.

LANDBANK, as its name implies, specializes in countryside development. Established by the Philippine government in 1963 to provide financial support to purchase agricultural estates and redistribute land amongst smaller landholders, the bank has expanded to become the fourth-largest bank in the Philippines in terms of total assets, loans and deposits, and the fifth largest in terms of total capital as of June 2016. It has expanded its credit outreach to its priority sectors—such as farmers and fishers, microenterprises as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, rural banks and agri- and aqua-businesses —while also establishing strategic partnerships that have crucially assisted the Philippine government’s comprehensive development programmes and platforms for inclusive growth. The bank has been successful in penetrating all of the 81 provinces in the country through its branch network and has established Other Banking Offices in areas where it has no branch to reach out to unserved sectors in other cities and municipalities. Through these efforts, LANDBANK has become the Philippines’ largest lender to small farmers, fishers, SMEs and microenterprises, countryside financial institutions, and local government units.

Congruent with its goal of meeting its development mandate is the bank’s commitment to provide excellent customer service. It remains aggressive in enhancing and accelerating the development of new products and channels, while building and maintaining strategic alliances and partnerships in the delivery of services and programs.

LANDBANK’s dedication to achieving the highest standards of customer service has set it apart from its peers. The bank recognizes the importance of not only listening to its customers’ needs but also anticipating them. This is accomplished through the consistent maintenance and improvement of multi-customer touchpoints, which include the presence of a client-assistance desk in every branch, as well as a customer-care service that operates 24/7 to address customer concerns and complaints. LANDBANK customers can also express their concerns through various customer-care platforms and channels such as telephone, email, the LANDBANK website, and its social media accounts.

Relationship management is likewise deemed as one of the key components of LANDBANK’s overall customer service, with the development of long-term business relationships as the underlying goal. Relationship officers are assigned to manage specific customer segments to ensure that each customer receives tailored service. This in turn allows LANDBANK to ascertain trends and gaps between customer needs and what is being offered, and ultimately to continue to meet client requirements. In essence, therefore, LANDBANK strives to be a customer-centric and service-oriented financial institution, and instils a culture within its branches and its employees to achieve this.

By 2018, LANDBANK aims to be the country’s top universal bank that promotes inclusive growth and improves quality of life, especially in the countryside through the delivery of innovative financial and other services. Financial inclusion will also continue to be a primary objective as it seeks to extend banking services to underserved provinces, cities and municipalities in the Philippines.

In June this year, LANDBANK conducted a nationwide financial inclusion caravan in nine fourth- and fifth-class municipalities with little or no access to banking services. The caravan was designed to raise awareness and bring unbanked Filipinos into the fold of formal financial services by bringing the bank’s services closer to them. Roughly 4,000 unbanked individuals participated in the caravan, many of whom were encouraged to avail of formal banking services and opened savings accounts on the spot. More than half of the 800 individuals who opened savings accounts during the event are now active transactors with topped-up accounts. The financial inclusion caravan is just the first of a series that LANDBANK aims to conduct, as it intends to cover more municipalities moving forward to bring more Filipinos in unbanked areas under the umbrella of formal financial services.

The bank’s customer service will be crucial in the eventual achievement of such aspirations, and it is expected to undergo further, significant evolutionary steps over the next year or so. The emphasis is now firmly on the development of pioneering products designed to anticipate client needs, as well as the improvement and acceleration of processes required for new product and channel development. In remaining at the forefront of global banking-industry standards, moreover, the bank will continue to invest in technology and employee training to further bolster customer-service standards.

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