The financial system’s total resources increased to P24.08 trillion as of end-March, up by 5.46 percent from same period last year of P22.84 trillion, based on Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data.
Of the total figure, banks have P20.03 trillion of total resources, up by 6.64 percent year-on-year or from P18.98 trillion.
The 46 big banks or universal/commercial banks accounted for 92 percent of the Philippine banking system’s total resources or P18.54 trillion at the end of the first quarter, this was 6.9 percent more than last year’s P17.35 trillion
The banking system is the core of the financial system as credit source for economic activities, and its resources come from deposits, bond issuances and capital infusion. The end-March total resources is unchanged from end-2020’s P24 trillion but it still managed to grow during the first pandemic year compared to end-2019’s P22.94 trillion.
Thrift banks’ total resources as of end-March reached P1.18 trillion, also up by 2.88 percent or from P1.14 trillion same period in 2020. There are 48 thrift banks as of end-March this year.
The BSP data on the 408 rural banks, in the meantime, have a lag time and the latest was still end-December 2020 of P308 billion total resources which was 5.84 percent more than end-December 2019’s P291 billion.
The BSP in its latest report on the financial system said funding – despite the pandemic – was still relatively stable with asset expansion principally funded by deposits, bond issuances and capital infusion.
It said bank deposits continued to grow as consumers shifted to digital payments. Banks’ lending activities were also mostly funded by deposits which grew by 8.9 percent year-on-year to P14.88 trillion as of end-December 2020, up by 7.1 percent year-on-year.
“The growth in total deposits is consistent with the global trend towards precautionary savings, decrease in consumption in view of a highly uncertain economic environment due to the pandemic, and the observable increased usage of digital platforms by the BSP supervised financial institutions in onboarding depositors and investors,” according to the BSP.