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March 01, 2024

EastWest Bank not likely to return to pre-pandemic profitability level this year

East West Banking Corp. led by bankero Tony Moncupa said the Gotianun-led bank is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels in terms of profitability this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war with Ukraine.

“What we expect to happen is this year, probably be closer to 2021 income if not lower, considering the market situation. But towards the year end, our earning capacity should have increased significantly and we should be back in 2023 to closer to our 2019 income levels,” Moncupa told the bank’s stockholders during their virtual annual stockholders meeting.

The profit of EastWest Bank dropped by 31 percent to P4.5 trillion last year from P6.5 billion in 2020 as revenues declined by 19 percent to P27 billion from P33.4 billion.

This despite the 58 percent drop in provision for credit losses to P4.1 billion last year from P9.8 billion in 2020.

The bankero said the bank’s loans were lower due to the slowdown in business activity, the slowdown in household spending, and uncertainties amid the pandemic.

“The reduction, the impact of the pandemic on our loan portfolio is quite significant and we need to rebuild the loans,” the bankero added

Moncupa believes the full impact of the two COVID years would spillover and be felt until this year.

The bankero also cited the ongoing Russia ongoing invasion of Ukraine would serve as a headwind due to its impact on world economy, prices, and inflation.

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