March 21, 2023

BSP: Philippine banking sector sees increase in NPL ratio but remains prepared amid pandemic

The gross non-performing loans (NPL) ratio in the Philippine banking industry rose to 3.28 percent in January 2023, marking the first increase in 10 months, according to data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

This is despite a 10.82 percent year-on-year increase in the total loan portfolio.

However, the NPL ratio was still lower than the same period in 2022, which saw a ratio of 4.14 percent.

Total NPLs decreased by 12.24 percent to P405.138 billion. The past due ratio or delinquency rate increased to 4.01 percent compared to 3.79 percent in December 2022 but was lower than the 4.84 percent recorded in the same period last year.

Total past due loans declined by 8.20 percent to P495.146 billion.

Despite the rise in NPL ratio, the banking sector’s NPL coverage ratio was higher at 106.26 percent compared to 87.27 percent in January 2022.

The industry set aside P430.480 billion as an allowance for credit losses in January, up by 6.84 percent from the same period last year, highlighting the banking industry’s preparedness and adequate buffer-building during the pandemic.

BSP Governor Felipe M. Medalla expressed confidence that the banking system remains on a solid footing since the pandemic started, with rising lending and declining non-performing loans, emphasizing that the strength of the banking industry is a barometer of the economy’s health