Banks’ profits in 2019 mixed across sectors

Published February 24, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin


Big banks continued to rake in profits in the past year but thrift banks’ bottomline was down as the industry shifts to more tech-supported services.

Based on Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data, the large lenders or the commercial and universal banks reported net profits of ₱211.56 billion in 2019, up 32.28 percent from 2018’s ₱159.93 billion. These are from 46 banks with net interest income of ₱518.93 billion and non-interest income of ₱170.60 billion, up 20.18 percent and 28.83 percent year-on-year, respectively.

The 50 thrift banks, in the meantime, had combined net profits of ₱14.47 billion, lower compared to ₱15.83 billion in the previous year. Net interest income dipped to ₱61.50 billion from ₱62.17 billion while non-interest income slightly increased by 1.94 percent to ₱13.35 billion in 2019.

The smaller rural and cooperative banks reported ₱4.38 billion net profit which was 10.79 percent higher year-on-year despite that its net interest income and non-interest income decreased by 15.34 percent and 24.14 percent, respectively. There are 426 rural banks and 25 cooperative banks as of end-2019.

Overall, combined net profits of all banks totaled ₱230.42 billion, up 28.21 percent from 2018’s ₱179.71 billion, based on BSP.

The Chamber of Thrift Banks (CTB) in a statement, said there is a need for thrift banks to improve its operations, particularly its tech-related and digital services.

“CTB is taking a proactive stance with the view that risks are unavoidable but can be managed. We hope to prepare our member thrift banks to better address these risks,” CTB President Cecilio D. San Pedro said. According to a BSP banking survey, domestic banks are projecting a 6-7 percent GDP growth in the next two years, which should lift profits and assets outlook while growing their banks and taking advantage of technology as business strategy, a central bank survey said.

The 2019 Banking Sector Outlook Survey (BSOS) – which covered all banks in the country – said 83.5 percent of those surveyed still think the economy will grow 6-7 percent in the next two years despite global uncertainties and market volatilities.

The big banks led 45.6 percent of surveyed banks that said they expect GDP to grow between six to 6.3 percent in the next two years while 41.2 percent expect higher or 6.3 to 6.6 percent.