Metrobank's 2021 profits up 60%

Published February 24, 2022, 3:32 PM

by James A. Loyola

Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company saw its profits surge by 60 percent to P22.2 billion in 2021 as earnings more than doubled to P6.0 billion in the fourth quarter last year.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the bank said net income was boosted by the decline in provisions as the loan portfolio stayed healthy.

Robust fees and other income as well as lower operating expenses further drove strong earnings performance.

With the Bank’s solid capital base and better profitability, the MBTC Board of Directors approved a new dividend policy of increasing the regular cash dividends from P1.00 to P1.60 per share for the year, payable on a semi-annual basis at P0.80 per share.

In addition, a special cash dividend of P1.40 per share was also declared for a total of P3.00 per share for the year.

Metrobank President Fabian Dee

“Our positive performance in 2021 validates our strategies of fortifying our balance sheet and proactive provisioning during the pandemic,” said Metrobank President Fabian S. Dee.

He added that, “The Bank has emerged stronger and well-prepared to meet the needs of our stakeholders as the economy moves towards full recovery.”

Operating income reached P101.4 billion in 2021 as net interest margin has stabilized at 3.4 percent since the second quarter of 2021.

The sequential quarterly recovery in corporate and credit card loans has likewise been sustained, reflecting improving business and consumer confidence.

The 12 percent increase in low cost current and savings accounts (CASA) to P1.5 trillion continued to help trim over-all funding cost.

Fees and other non-interest income jumped by 27 percent to P21.1 billion in 2021 on the back of higher transaction volumes and cross selling strategies, which mitigated lower trading income.

On the other hand, efforts to improve efficiencies continue to pay off as operating costs were kept under control at P59.5 billion.

Despite the challenging conditions in 2021, non-performing loans (NPLs) declined by 12 percent year-on-year (YoY) with NPL ratio easing to 2.2 percent in 2021 from 2.4 percent in 2020. NPL cover further improved to 174.7 percent from 163.0 percent in 2020.

Metrobank ended 2021 as the country’s second largest private universal bank with consolidated assets of P2.5 trillion and total equity of P318.5 billion. The Bank’s capital ratios are still among the highest in the industry.

Based on December 2021 balance sheet, Metrobank’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) is estimated to move from 20.1 percent to 19.3 percent and Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio from 19.3 percent to 18.4 percent after dividends.

Both measures are still substantially higher than the 11.0 percent minimum regulatory threshold for CET1 and 10.0 percent for CAR.