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History of GRBank

Guagua, strategically located at the southwest portion of Pampanga, is predominantly devoted for agricultural purposes such as palay, sugar, fishponds, and other industries such as woodcrafts and furniture making which it is known for.  


Republic Act # 720 in 1953 known as the Rural Banking Act paved way in the creation of the rural banks in the Philippines. A group of entrepreneurs, led by Mr. Esteban Lapid, Dr. Felix Coronel, Rufino Dimson, Maximo Dimson, Dr. Diosdado David, Angel Lagman, Evaristo Sunglao, Rodolfo Sunglao, Emiliana Utulo, Pablo Narciso, Francisco Lapid, Dr. Abelardo Lansang, Atty. Ramon Miranda, and Jose L. Carlos, incorporated the Guagua Rural bank (GRBank). The first organizational meeting was held at the Ramon Lee restaurant in Sta. Cruz, Manila. Together, they pooled Php24,000, just enough to start incorporating for the proposed capital stock of Php480,000.   An amount equal to the capital paid-up by the investors was put in by the Central Bank as counterpart.


On April 17, 1954, the Guagua Rural Bank, Inc. was inaugurated in a small corner cubicle in the Araullo Building fronting the Santo Nino Chapel. GRBank was among the first ten rural banks to open in the Philippines. Barely a year after Guagua Rural Bank inauguration, Dr. Felix Coronel succeeded Mr. Esteban Lapid as president of the bank. Soon after Mr. Jose L. Carlos, Sr., one of the incorporators, and a leader with vision and foresight, was elected president, a position that he holds up to the present. He began to play a more active role in managing the bank, paving the way for its unprecedented success


To improve the bank?s image, GRBank leased the ground floor of a then newly constructed building along the Guagua riverside, near the back of Parish Church.


At the beginning of its operation, GRBank was limited to loan services. It was only February 9, 1957 that GRB was granted the authority to accept savings deposits. By September 17, 1960, GRB could accept current account deposits. 

The Land Reform Program in September 1972 and the Masagana 99 program were mandates to support farmers? agricultural financing needs. These programs caused rural banks to stuff lose. The Stockholders infused more capital to strengthen the financial stability of GRBank.

The coming of the second-generation managers professionalized the set up of the bank. The combination of the experience and prudence of the first generation management and aggressiveness and modern approach of the second generation proved to be a turning point for the bank. The teamwork made the bank grow to a phenomenal success.

When Central Bank liberalized branching license to rural banks in 1989, GRBank was the first in Pampanga to avail of this privilege. The first branch was thus opened in Sta Rita, Pampanga at the quarter end of 1989. This paved the way to an astronomical growth of the bank. From then on, the management moved forward in full throttle.  

The management of GRBank was never demoralized with the Mt. Pinatubo eruption that wreaked havoc to the region in 1991.

In 1993, a second GRBank branch was opened in Dolores, San Fernando, and Pampanga.

In 1994, another branch was opened in Bacolor, Pampanga.

In 1995, the next branch was opened in Henson St., Angeles City. In the same year, the bank started using computers and utilized software for ledger-less posting. It was also this year that the lahar buried the town of Bacolor.

In 1996, Bacolor branch, which was affected by lahar the previous year, was moved to Dinalupihan, Bataan. By the end of this year, assets of GRBank reached P363.7Million and capitalization rose to P50Million. This puts GRBank in the map, landing the top 20 biggest rural banks nationwide. 

In 1997, a series of improvements and re-alignments have been done to put GRBank more competitive stance. A new single business unit (SBU) in San Nicolas, Angeles City was inaugurated. Also, the branch at Sta. Rita moved to new two-story building.

The year 2000 marked the start of the new millennium. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), formerly Central Bank of the Philippines restricted the branching out for all banks. GRBank was in a position of maximizing out for all its potentials. The goal is to reach One Billion in Total Resources by 2004. On the same year, a new 4-storey Corporate Center was built and inaugurated last July 30, 2004 in the City of San Fernando in line with its golden anniversary. This makes GRBank one of the biggest rural banks nationwide.


Near the end of December 2005, as per its circular no. 505, Bangko Central ng Pilipinas partially lifted the six (6)-year moratorium on branching, a privilege given to financially strong and well-managed banks. This BSP move of providing greater access to formal banking services will encourage residents to join the economic mainstream and stimulate the local economy by enhancing access to credit by local entrepreneurs and encourage savings and investments. (BSP Media Releases, Dec. 19, 2005)


To continue its region wide expansion which began in 1997, GRBank opened the Orani branch in Bataan on the 4th day of December, 2006.


GRBank San Nicolas, Angles moved its site on February 16, 2007 to the vicinity of Clark field in First Street, Balibago, Angeles City.


In March, branching moved eastwards-in Apalit, Pampanga at the ground floor of the Blue Arcade near public market. This move brings GRBank closer to Guagua?s eastern neighbors, including Minalin, Masanto and Macabebe.


In August, to step onto the northern part of Central Luzon, Capas branch opened was opened, very near the Dominican School.


Same month, a branch in Mabalacat was opened. This branch is located at Mabiga, Mabalacat, Pampanga at the corner road going to Mauque Resettlement.


The last branch that opened was Olongapo branch to strengthen its presence in the west coast. It is located in front of St. Joseph Church and is near St, Joseph College.


GRBank has the total of fourteen (14) branches. Together with the pioneering branch, the new branches shall continue the mission laid out by the founders.