PH banking sector remained profitable in ’12


The country’s banking sector remained highly profitable in 2012, with the combined net income of small and big players growing by a double-digit pace as they ride on the gains of an expanding economy.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported Friday that total profits of rural, thrift, universal and commercial banks in the country amounted to P122.12 billion last year—up by 17 percent from the P104.73 billion posted in 2011.

Despite the world’s economic problems, “the Philippine financial system continued to deliver a remarkable performance in 2012 with sustained profitability and strong capitalization,” the BSP said in a report.

Philippine banks are in a position to help sustain the economy’s growth by extending loans to consumers and businesses, officials said.

The increase in overall profit was driven by the rise in incomes of universal and commercial banks, which accounted for P110.97 billion of the total. This amount was up by 20 percent from the P92.63 billion registered in 2011.

Profits of the country’s big banks were driven partly by income earned from lending activities and by non-interest earnings, which include gains from treasury operations.

On the other hand, thrift banks registered a contraction in earnings. Combined net income of thrift banks reached P8.32 billion—down by 10 percent from P9.26 billion.

The decline was brought on by an increase in operational expenses and losses from financial assets.

Rural banks accounted for P2.83 billion of the combined net income, the same as in 2011.

The growth in the industry’s overall profit came with the increase in total resources.

The Inquirer earlier reported that total resources of the banking system grew by 9.8 percent to P8.05 trillion in 2012 from that of the previous year.

The BSP said that Philippine banks outperformed their counterparts in Southeast Asia, in terms of asset quality and solvency.

The average nonperforming loans (NPLs) of banks hit a record low of 2.5 percent last year, while the average capital adequacy ratio (CAR) continued to exceed regulatory requirements at 16.9 percent.

With its strong finances, the banking sector will likely sustain lending growth of at least 10 percent this year, the BSP said.

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