In coping with the complex challenges and myriad uncertainties besetting the banking industry, FICOBank identified the critical issues related thereto, analyzed them well and pinpointed its variables for success. With the Bank’s strong craving to get things done in spite of so many barriers, its logic of the industry, which is made up of ten key factors for success, came to the fore. These major competitive factors—by far—enabled the Bank to perform better than before, better than others, and better than expected.


The officers and staff of FICOBank are the main actors who accomplish the business objectives of the organization. They are not simply recruited, but are reared in accordance with the institutional discipline and culture of the Bank in terms of competency and character. They are goal-driven and have the mindset of being the best performers in their respective fields.

As human factor remains to be its vital competitive edge, the Bank continued to invest in manpower development. The attitude, knowledge, skills and competencies of the officers and staff are nurtured in a learning environment where integrity, professionalism and excellence are brought to life. New employees are given on-the-job training and hands-on courses to hone their technical skills even before they take up their posts either in the frontline or in the backroom. Of course, an attractive compensation package is provided to ensure that each employee enjoys a fulfilling and rewarding career.


The products and services that are offered by FICOBank aptly meet the needs and expectations of the target market sets, as it frequently analyzes the structure and environmental changes of each target market, and tries to determine the needs, demands, expectations and preferences of the customers. Moreover, the mix of product, price, place and promotion, which are the tactical foci of marketing, are properly designed to create an effective marketing campaign.

The Bank uses the pull-based and push-based strategies in promoting its products and services. Pull-based strategy relies on heavy promotion through multi-media advertising (radio, print, TV/CATV, electronic media and outdoor advertising), sales promotion, public relations and sponsorship/publicity. On the other hand, push-based strategy strives to sell directly the products and services of the Bank through personal selling, in-premise selling, group meetings/dialogues and sales force deployment.


Traditionally, location has been one of the most important determinants of FICOBank’s success in business. In practice, the Bank put up its branches and other banking offices in locations that generate the most customer traffic and in areas that have a better attraction for business growth.

As the Bank’s operating units are located in desirable places, the customers benefit from the accessibility to most transportation and other public utilities as well as appropriate proximity to foot traffic of other neighbor-businesses. Moreover, the nature and design of the Bank’s offices project an image that is more inviting for potential customers, and provide convenience for employees and satisfying banking experience for existing customers.


In view of the fact that “banking is the management of risks,” FICOBank puts in place its risk management and control system with a framework that is based on: strategic principles; interrelationship among risk, return and reserves; regular review of Bank’s exposure to various risks; and essential control function and measures.

The implementation of strong and effective risk management and control system reduces the vulnerability of the Bank to all types of risk inherent to its operations and promotes its stability which, in turn, induces the confidence of the depositing/investing public and funding agencies. It also ensures the long-term sustainability of the business of FICOBank.


The adequacy of capital is among the gauge of a bank’s financial strength. With the stricter requirement on capital adequacy ratio (CAR), the Bank upholds its long-standing policy of not merely matching, but beating the BSP standard and industry average in terms of CAR. It also makes sure that the amount of its capital is adequate to pay obligations, absorb losses and still have funds to expand its banking operations.


The essence of liquidity is having cash when it is needed. FICOBank regularly measures its liquidity level under both normal and stress conditions. It strictly enforces its asset-liability management policy and keeps a business continuity plan for liquidity pressures arising from unexpected internal or external developments.

The Bank maintains sufficient liquidity to address operational requirements, legal reserves, capital expenditures and contingencies, with the aid of the “block system” on investment portfolio management. Likewise, the Bank ensures that its liquidity level is always higher than the liquidity reserve required by BSP.


Corporate image or reputation is the most important and valuable asset of FICOBank. As a matter of practice, the Bank and its people veer away from negative publicity, as it may significantly harm it. It keeps an image or reputation that establishes trust, confidence, loyalty and good relationship.

In the eyes of others, the Bank has a reputation of being the: Number One Cooperative Bank in the Philippines in terms of financial performance; “AA” EAGLE Achiever in microfinance performance; Producer of Microentrepreneur of the Year (MOTY) awardees; Hall of Famer Cooperative Bank; and First Ginintuang Gawad PITAK Awardee. It also has the distinction of being the learning “Mecca” of cooperative banks in the country.


As portfolio quality reflects the financial health of FICOBank, it exerts extra efforts to maintain a high quality of portfolio that contains a lower amount of risk. Knowing that portfolio quality changes continually, as loans are disbursed, repayments are made, and payments became due, the Bank makes it a point that its lending operation is prudently managed—from account generation to collection, or up to remedial action.

The Bank ensures that the amount of its toxic loans is negligible and its past due ratio is kept at a single digit (below five percent) through: constant updating of lending policies and processes; rigid training of credit personnel; financial due diligence; industry and scenario analysis; adequacy of collaterals; rapid review of portfolio; and remedial management.


From a business standpoint, FICOBank views strategic planning as fundamental to effective execution and superior banking performance. It is, in many aspects, the starting point for the Bank’s successful management and leadership. Its need to craft a strategic plan is driven by external change and competition. The board and management of the Bank monitor continuously the implications of the changes in the industry, and they proactively plan the internal changes that are needed to adapt to the new realities. The main purpose of strategic planning is to enable the Bank to gain, as efficiently as possible, a sustainable edge over its competitors.


FICOBank is not alone in the market for business. It is only one of the many other financial institutions engage in the buy and sell of money or financial intermediation. To stay and grow in the financial market where it co-exists with other financial institutions, the Bank’s overriding objectives, which are reflective of its leadership character and philosophy, are: to obtain a sizeable market share which is better than before; to satisfy the financial needs of the customers in a way that is better than others; and to register a banking performance that is better than expected.




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