By Lee C. Chipongian
The country’s banking system has a higher total resources of P15.59 trillion as of end-February this year, up 11.67 percent year-on-year, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) show.
This includes large lenders or the universal and commercial banks, thrift banks, and rural and cooperative banks. Including non-banks, the total financial system resources grew by 9.30 percent to P18.95 trillion.
The big banks accounted for 90 percent of total banking resources with P14 trillion, up 12.19 percent from end-February, 2016’s P12.49 trillion.
Thrift banks registered a 6.79 percent increase year-on-year, from P1.13 trillion to P1.21 trillion. The central bank data on rural and cooperative banks combined, as well as non-banks, usually is a quarter behind in the tally. As of December, 2017, rural and cooperative banks have resources amounting to P256.5 billion, 10.82 percent more than 2016, while non-banks – these are investment houses with trusts businesses, non-stock savings and loan associations, pawnshops, financing companies, security dealers/brokers, and trust corporations — have P3.46 trillion, up four percent year-on-year.
At the end of 2017, the banking sector’s total resources is equivalent to 98.1 percent of gross domestic product. Savings and demand deposits remain the primary sources of funds for the banking system.
BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. said the country’s “healthy financial system has continued to fuel the growth momentum,” citing adequate domestic liquidity to fund the requirements of a strong economy and the “solid demand for loans across key economic sectors.”