Banking sector resources up by 8%By Michelle V. Remo |Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The resources of the country’s banking sector grew further in October as the expanding economy helped boost the profitability of industry members and deposits from the public.
This was according to data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, which said that the growing resources of banks indicated that the industry remained healthy despite the weakness of the global economy.
Data showed that the combined resources of universal and commercial, thrift and rural banks in the country amounted to P7.89 trillion as of the end of October, up by about 8 percent from P7.31 trillion in the same period in 2011.
The BSP said bank resources were largely boosted by growing deposits from enterprises and individuals, indicating their growing confidence in the Philippine banking system.
Of the total resources of the industry, P7.07 trillion was accounted for by universal and commercial banks. Their resources were up by about 8 percent from P6.55 trillion.
Thrift banks posted total resources of P632 billion, up by nearly 11 percent from P571 billion a year ago.
Rural banks, which cater to customers in the rural areas, accounted for the smallest share of P187.76 billion, up by 0.5 percent from P186.77 billion a year ago.
The banks’ profits also form part of their resources.
According to the BSP, the sustained profitability of Philippine banks indicated that they were not significantly affected by global economic problems.
Concerns were raised earlier that a weak global economy, which dampened earnings of exporters, could cause a rise in loan defaults by export-oriented firms. In turn, banks were expected to suffer as well.
Latest data, however, showed that the combined net incomes of universal and commercial banks in the country hit P80.11 billion in the first three quarters of 2012, up year on year by 15 percent from P69.63 billion.
The rise in the profits of banks was attributed to the rising demand for loans and other financial services from a wide range of sectors. Industry members said the performance of the banking industry was influenced largely by the growth of the economy.
The government earlier reported that the economy, measured in terms of gross domestic product, grew by 6.5 percent year on year in the first three quarters of 2012. This was one of the fastest growth rates in Asia during the period.