Local banks’ deposit base expands by 8.3%
THE BANKS’ key source of funds expanded in the first five months of the year as improved economic conditions allowed consumers and businesses to set more money aside as savings.
Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed that savings and time deposits, which were the financial sector’s primary source of funds, rose to a record high at the end of May.
“The Philippine banking system continues to register strong performance in the second quarter of 2015, reflective of firm economic activity,” the BSP said.
“The banks’ balance sheets were marked by a sustained growth in assets and deposits,” she added.
At the end of May, local banks’ total deposits amounted to P6.6 trillion, 8.3 percent or P508.3 billion higher year-on-year.
The rise in deposits as of the end of May this year was an improvement from the 7.5 percent increase posted at the end of March 2015. Savings and demand deposits expanded by 7.9 percent and 13.9 percent, respectively.
In the meantime, time deposits grew by 4 percent to P68.2 billion during the period covered.
Foreign currency deposits owned by Filipino bank clients grew by 10.1 percent year-on-year.
The BSP said the rise in deposits held by local banks was reflective of the industry’s overall health.”
Asset quality indicators also continued to improve, while capital adequacy ratios were at par with international standards, even with the implementation of the tighter Basel III framework, the BSP said in a report.
The number of banking institutions fell to 646 as of the end of March this year from the year- and quarter- ago levels of 667 and 648, respectively. This indicates the continued consolidation of banks as well as the exit of weaker players in the banking system.
The Philippine banking system’s gross NPL ratio, at 2.5 percent as of end-March 2015, was lower than the year-ago level of 2.8 percent but slightly higher than the 2.3 percent in the previous quarter.
Nevertheless, banks’ initiatives to improve their asset quality along with prudent lending regulations helped maintain the industry’s level of bad loans below the pre-Asian crisis level of 3.5 percent, the BSP said.
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