March 21, 2023

BPI expects further increase in bank lending

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) expects a further increase in lending activity despite the continued rise in interest rates.

In a recent briefing, the bank said that forecasts on loan growth remain good for the entire industry as the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to increase as well.

Bankero and BPI chief finance officer Eric Luchangco said the bank saw exceptional loan growth last year despite the rise in interest rates.

“What we are looking for in 2023, is that we will continue to see loans grow as the economy grows. And that will help drive our income moving forward,” Luchangco said.

Meanwhile, BPI executive vice president John-C Syquia is banking on the Marcos administration’s infrastructure programs to drive lending and trickle down to more economic activities.

Jojo Ocampo, BPI Mass Retail Segment head, said that growth was seen in the bank’s card, personal, and microfinance loan products. Auto and housing loans also remained strong.

“We see a continued expansion especially in the credit card business as travel is slowly coming back, both domestic and international, as well as dining and other service and entertainment-related spending,” Ocampo said.

Luchango also warned of potential risks including additional interest rate hikes of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). On the other hand, BPI executive vice president Ginbee Go hopes that the easing of monetary policy by the second half of the year will help ensure that loans will remain affordable to clients.

The proposed merger between the bank and Robinsons Bank is also expected to expand the customer and deposit base of both banks.