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June 22, 2024

Philippine banks, no matter the pandemic, are at their healthiest in decades

The country’s banks, as represented by some of its largest members, are in no danger of falling over and by their demise take with them the hard-earned money of depositors.

BDO Universal Bank, for instance, has asset holdings worth P3.409 trillion as of the third quarter of last year, up from only P3.323 trillion a quarter earlier. These accounts, for instance, for the bulk of the spending plan of President Duterte last year totaling P4.506 trillion to combat the ill effect of the ongoing pandemic.

Rival Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. reported assets worth P2.106 trillion for the period, from only P2.142 trillion three months earlier and compares well against the asset holdings of the Bank of the Philippine Islands aggregating P1.945 trillion from P1.891 trillion, based on published documents.

The assets of Security Bank Corp. for the period, whose stature as some of the most profitable lenders in the business, stood at P699.639 billion from P704.319 billion the quarter before.

Security Banks loans and receivables expanded during the period to P461.4 billion, up from only P453.5 billion three months earlier.

And yet Security Bank reported soured or non-performing loans averaging only 4.15 percent of portfolio, indicating prudence in their lending practices. The soured loans of Metrobank, on the other hand, averaged 1.31 percent for the quarter from 1.50 percent three months earlier. That of BDO averaged 3.02 percent from 3.03 percent while that of BPI averaged 1.62 percent from 1.76 percent.

Soured loans are closely monitored by regulators, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, to ensure the banking system as a whole is not under financial duress and bring the entire financial system into a crisis.