Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) reported that its net income grew by 46 percent to P16.1 billion in the first nine months of 2021.
In a statement, Metrobank said that earnings surged 131 percent to P4.4 billion in the third quarter of 2021, with proactive NPL management resulting in lower provisions. Healthy fee and other income and controlled operating expense growth contributed to the positive earnings performance.
“Our strategy to build a stronger balance sheet has given us the capacity to withstand prolonged risks and also enabled us to implement strategies to optimize our operating performance in the medium term,” said Metrobank President Fabian S. Dee.
“We will continue to help economic recovery as we see a gradual increase in lending activities, as businesses are more able to adapt to the pandemic,” Dee said.
Total operating income reached P75.9 billion in the first nine months. Net interest income continues to improve from last quarter, as net interest margin has started to stabilize at 3.4 percent. The sequential quarterly pick-up in corporate and credit card loans has also been sustained.
Funding costs, he said, were also stable, supported by a 13 percent growth in low-cost current account and savings account (CASA) deposits as clients continued to park their excess liquidity with Metrobank. CASA ratio remained high at 74.9 percent.
Fees and other non-interest income rose by 20 percent to P15.2 billion in the first nine months, reflecting higher transaction volumes and cross selling initiatives. On the other hand, operating costs were marginally up by 1 percent at P44.4 billion.
These favorable trends mitigated the impact of weak trading income. Provision expenses declined by 72 percent to P10.0 billion as Metrobank’s portfolio health improved, with NPL ratio further easing to 2.1 percent, well below the industry’s 4.5 percent in September 2021. Likewise, restructured loans ratio at 0.8% is much lower than the industry ratio of 3.1 percent. As such, NPL cover has increased to 191 percent.
Metrobank is the country’s second largest private universal bank with consolidated assets of P2.4 trillion as of end September 2021. Total equity reached P317.1 billion, leading to a high capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of 20.7 percent and common equity tier one ratio (CET1) ratio of 19.8 percent.
The Bank’s formidable balance sheet and exceptional asset quality amid a challenging environment have been recognized by both The Asian Banker and Asiamoney. Metrobank was hailed the Strongest Bank in the Philippines by The Asian Banker and was recognized as the Best Domestic Bank in the Philippines during the Asiamoney Bank Awards 2021.
“To be recognized for our strength and resilience amidst the worldwide economic uncertainty brought about by the pandemic is a big honor for all Metrobankers,” Dee concluded.