By Lee C. Chipongian
The Yuchengco-controlled Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) yesterday said its 2017 net income was up by 11.4 percent to P4.3 billion compared to P3.8 billion in 2016, backed by a still strong loan portfolio and competitive margins.
“The bank is on track and ready to take advantage of the opportunities expected from the favorable business environment in 2018,” according to its president and CEO, Gil A. Buenaventura.
Buenventura added that with the intense industry competition, RCBC – which has been beset with controversies in the past until today relating to the 2016 cyber bank heist – is “prepared to address this with a strong sense of urgency, as we pursue our business plans, key initiatives and key transactions this year.”
At the end of 2017, RCBC had capital funds of R67.1 billion and a capital adequacy ratio of 15.47 percent. Its CET1 ratio was at 12.46 percent. “The bank’s asset quality remained stable with NPL ratio at 1.25 percent, lower than the 1.41 percent NPL ratio as of end-third quarter 2017,” it said.
The bank’s net interest income grew by 15 percent year-on-year to P18 billion, supported by a 16 percent growth in its lending business with P353 billion. Last year, the bank’s net interest margin “remained strong” at 4.24 percent which was 19 basis points higher than 2016’s 4.06 percent.
In a statement, RCBC listed its all market segments with a growth of 12 percent in corporate loans in 2017, while its SME loans and consumer loans increased by 39 percent and 15 percent, respectively. The bank’s credit card loans also grew by 29 percent year-on-year.
As for its microfinance loans, this rose by 39 percent via its unit, Rizal Microbank.
The bank said it earned P904 million as net income in the last quarter of 2017, up 146 percent year-on-year, boosted by a 27 percent growth in net interest income while its non-interest income went up by 19 percent. In 2017, RCBC reported total gross income of P25.1 billion while total other operating Income reached P7.1 billion. Fees and charges amounted to P3.4 billion. In the meantime, total operating expenses increased by 2.3 percent to P17.8 billion, which the bank described as a slow growth.
“(RCBC) pursued the expansion of its distribution network by selectively opening 27 branches and deploying 74 ATMs mainly in support of its on-going strategy to broaden customer reach and enhance banking convenience. This brought the consolidated network to 508 branches and 1,562 ATMs, resulting to a 3.07 branch-to-ATM ratio, one of the highest in the industry,” the bank said.
At the end of last year, RCBC total consolidated resources amounted to P556.3 billion while deposits were higher at P388.9 billion, up 10 percent.