By JAMES A. LOYOLA
Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company (Metrobank), one of the country’s top lenders, posted a 27 percent growth in audited consolidated net income to ₱28.1 billion last year.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the bank said its “solid performance resulted from the consistent improvement in operating revenues on the back of moderate loan growth and margin expansion, strong trading and FX gains, double-digit increase on fee-based income, and manageable cost growth.”
“The Bank performed significantly well in 2019, and all our initiatives contributed to the strong finish,” said Metrobank President Fabian Dee.
He added that, “Our increased profitability, more efficient operations, and sustained business growth are the direct result of our continued mission to deliver what is meaningful to our customers and validates their trust and confidence in our Bank.”
Metrobank grew current account and savings account (CASA) deposits by 12 percent, driving overall robust deposit growth of 10 percent to ₱1.7 trillion.
As such, the Bank closed 2019 with an improved 63 percent CASA ratio, providing liquidity to support loan growth of 7 percent to ₱1.5 trillion.
Aligned with continued Philippine economic expansion, the rise in credit demand was driven by the commercial segment’s 7 percent increase as well as sustained consumer lending growth led by the 23 percent jump in the credit cards business.
In 2019, the bank’s net interest income expanded 12 percent to ₱77.0 billion, accounting for 72 percent of the bank’s total revenues of ₱106.9 billion, bringing net interest margin to 3.84 percent.
Meanwhile, non-interest income rose 26 percent to ₱29.9 billion, benefiting from higher customer flows in fixed income and foreign exchange, on top of a favorable financial market environment.
Service fees and commissions grew 12 percent to ₱14.3 billion, while trading and FX gains more than tripled to ₱9.3 billion.
Modest portfolio growth ensured adherence to the Bank’s credit standards and sustained better-than-industry asset quality metrics, with non-performing loans (NPL) ratio at 1.3 percent from 1.5 percent last September 2019.