Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metrobank) has been named the “Best Domestic Bank in the Philippines” during the Asiamoney Best Bank Awards 2021 for managing to thrive and grow in these unprecedented times.
“Metrobank is a firm to be reckoned with in the Philippines. What stands out with Metrobank is its sheer resilience during tough times, including all the uncertainty caused by the pandemic over the past eighteen months,” said Asiamoney Editor Rashmi Kumar.
She also cited Metrobank’s status as one of the country’s foremost universal banks, offering a diverse stable of business and products for a range of clients while showing strong growth year after year.
Metrobank credited its resilience to the lessons they learned from surviving the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, a similar event that also left the economic backdrop in shambles.
“Drawing from our experience back then, our mantra this time is to be proactive at the onset of a crisis so we can quickly get our feet back on the ground,” said Metrobank President Fabian S. Dee.
The Bank pursued a prudent risk management strategy, ensured strong capital levels, and kept a healthy balance sheet with best-in-class asset quality metrics.
Dee further enumerated some of the bank’s key strategies that made them emerge and grow amid an economic downturn.
“True to our meaningful banking promise, we first focused on what, or who, meant the most to us: the customers,” he said.
At the first signs of a possible economic downturn, the Bank immediately reached out to their clients, providing them with alternative access to banking services through digital technology, evaluating and providing advice to manage their financial health and conducting several webinars including a fraud awareness campaign to help protect customers.
Metrobank pursued a prudent and proactive approach in managing its portfolio to protect asset quality, and sustain long term profitability and capital strength.
Despite an economic downturn, the Bank managed to grow its low cost current and savings accounts (CASA) grew 22 percent to PhP1.3 trillion, reflecting the Bank’s solid deposit franchise and customer confidence in the Bank.
The bank also generated a 26 percent increase in pre-provisioning profits to P61.8 billion in 2020. This enabled the Bank to set aside PhP40.8 billion in provisions, thus creating a solid buffer against potential risks from the pandemic.
Metrobank’s proactive provisioning raised non- performing loan (NPL) cover to 163 percent from 103 percent in 2019, strengthening the Bank’s capacity to withstand asset quality pressures.
Metrobank believes its prudent approach in 2020 paved the way for a strong start this year, with net income growing 28 percent to PhP11.7 billion in the first half of 2021.
Stable asset quality and superior capital ratios give the Bank a strong position to take on opportunities ahead.
“We are honored and humbled to be recognized as the Best Domestic Bank in the Philippines. It is indeed a great gift for us as we celebrate our 59th Anniversary,” Dee said.
He added that, “We are merely doing what is second-nature to us: to provide meaningful services to our customers. Through their trust, even in the face of a financial crisis, we are motivated to always do what is best for all our stakeholders.” The Asiamoney Best Bank Awards 2021 is an annual ceremony that recognizes which banks in each market excel across a range of categories