By Emmie V. Abadilla
The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) stepped up its lending initiatives by 17 percent in the first quarter, releasing P223.24-billion loans, mostly to infrastructure and logistics, the lender’s President and Chief Executive Officer Cecilia C. Borromeo announced.
Specifically, infrastructure and logistics accounted for P85.93-billion of the state-owned bank’s lending portfolio, followed by borrowings from government-owned-and-controlled corporations and local government units, at P63.8-billion.
Loans to agriculture amounted to P40-billion; social services, P31.7-billion and environmental projects, P16-billion.
The bank also disbursed P16.4-billion to micro, small, and medium enterprises.
“DBP remains true to its mandate as a development catalyst by increasing its loans to strategic sectors of the economy,” Borromeo said. “We continue to enhance access to credit nationwide to finance much-needed infrastructure.
The national government has designated DBP, the eighth largest bank in terms of assets, as the country’s infrastructure bank.
Significantly, the establishment of lending groups and centers in key areas of the country has boosted the bank’s loan portfolio as it streamlined client servicing and processing, according to Borromeo.
Earlier this year, DBP created seven lending groups and 22 lending centers nationwide to fast-track the credit application process in its network of 125 branches.
“Our newly created provincial lending groups are proving to be effective channels for funding development projects in the countryside,” noted the DBP President.
The opening of new branches in various parts of the country also boosted deposits by 32.5 percent in the first quarter of 2018 to P428.5-billion from P232.3-billion in the same period last year.
Hence, DBP will open 10 additional branches this year. Already, it has expanded its ATM network by 81 machines, bringing the banks total number of ATMs to 710 nationwide as of last month.
“We ended the first quarter with 81 more ATMs, which is 40.5 percent of our target of 200 new ATMs this year,” Borromeo remarked. “Out of this number, 69 ATMs were installed in provincial sites, in line with our commitment to bring banking services to the underserved areas”
DBP targets one million depositors in the next five years, focusing mainly on small depositors residing in underserved areas of the country, she pledged.
“We want as many Filipinos to have their own deposit accounts to go to DBP and trust us as their bank.”
In terms of gross income, DBP grew by 9 percent from January to March this year to P5.77-billion from P5.29-billion recorded in the first quarter of 2017, while net worth grew to P47.8-billion, registering a 3.49 percent increase in the comparative period.
However, the bank nettedc P1.09-billion earnings, down 15.5 percent from the P1.29-billion registered in the same period last year due to higher provisioning for credit losses consistent with the banks maintaining portfolio quality and in compliance with new regulations.
Nevertheless, DBP remains on track to achieve its financial targets this year, Borromeo underscored.
Overall, average cost of funds has been on a steady decline while operating costs have been kept to a minimum.