The country’s banking sector started the year on a positive note with resources of industry members growing by some 11 percent to hit P8.25 trillion in the first month of the year, from P7.44 trillion a year ago, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed.
Officials said the expansion of the banking sector’s resources was consistent with projections that banks in the country would remain highly liquid this year and would, therefore, be able to support a robust economic growth through the extension of more consumer and business loans.
However, the banks’ resources in January were, however, lower than the P8.36 trillion posted in December.
Of the total resources, universal and commercial banks accounted for P7.38 trillion, up by about 11 percent from P6.66 trillion in January last year.
The BSP said universal and commercial banks were expected to post a 10-percent growth or more in their combined loan portfolios. It said the generally positive sentiment on the economy encouraged banks to lend more.
Thrift banks accounted for P681.55 billion of the total resources, up year on year by 16 percent from P587.16 billion.
Thrift banks, which cater largely to the consumer market, expect demand for consumer credit, led by housing and automobile loans, to further rise this year.
Rural banks, on the contrary, registered a slight decline in resources from year-ago amid closures of several members of the sub-sector. Their combined resources totaled P187.67 billion in January, down by 0.05 percent from P187.76 billion in the same month last year.