CARD Bank marks 26th year as financial inclusion champion to Filipino communities

CARDee, the official mascot of CARD Bank, joins CARD MRI executives and heads, including CARD MRI Founder and Chairman Emeritus Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip (2nd from the left), to commemorate the 26th founding anniversary of the country’s first microfinance-oriented rural bank held at CARD Bank Maharlika Branch in San Pablo City, Laguna.

CARD Bank, Inc., a microfinance-oriented rural bank of CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), celebrated its 26th founding anniversary and savings month with the theme “Conquering a new frontier towards more inclusive financial services” on September 1, 2023.

“CARD Bank has broken barriers since it has started. On its 26th year, we are gearing up to conquering new frontiers while staying committed to our mission of poverty eradication. We will continue doing what we do best: serving the most vulnerable and socioeconomically challenged communities through our innovative products and services,” said CARD MRI Founder and Chairman Emeritus Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip during the event.

The said activity was also attended by CARD MRI Managing Director Aristeo A. Dequito, CARD Bank President and CEO Marivic M. Austria, Senior Management Advisers Dr. Dolores M. Torres and Lorenza dT. Bañez, members of the Executive and Management Committee, Board of Directors, staff, and clients.

CARD Bank, Inc.’s origin can be traced from the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, Inc. (CARD, Inc.), which was organized on December 10, 1986, by Dr. Alip with other 14 rural development practitioners as a social development foundation through responsible financial services.

Within a decade, it has successfully formalized its micro-lending operations by transforming itself into a formal financial institution and obtained its license from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as a microfinance-oriented rural bank that aims to provide the poor with diverse financial and non-financial services.

CARD MRI Managing Director Aristeo A. Dequito also shared that 26 years ago they had no experience in banking.

“Without any prior experience in banking, we pursued our dream of opening a bank that is owned by the women we serve. The idea of a microfinance-oriented rural bank was groundbreaking. But since we started our baking operations until now, we have proven that anything is possible, and we have surmounted all the hurdles that have arisen along the way,” he said.

“I am confident that if we work together and trust each other, we will be able to overcome all obstacles and boundaries. Aside from embracing new ideas, let’s remember our roots and where we began. Our experiences and back-to-basics concepts will also help us succeed,” he added.

Meanwhile, CARD Bank President and CEO Austria said that the bank is not only serving CARD MRI communities but is also valuing both micro and walk-in clients to continue to foster financial inclusivity across the country.  

Throughout the years, CARD Bank has continued to uphold its commitment in empowering women by providing them with continuous access to financial, microinsurance, educational, livelihood, health, and other capacity-building services that will eventually transform them into contributing members of society who care about the environment and their community.

As of August 2023, CARD Bank has 100 branches and 540 branch-lite units across the country serving more than 4.1 million clients with a 99% repayment rate.

To know more about CARD Bank, Inc. visit its official website at