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RCBC profit drops 24% in 2016

MANILA, Philippines - Earnings of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) fell 24 percent last year as it paid a record P1 billion in fine to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) after being dragged into the $81 million cyber heist.

In a report to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), RCBC said its net income amounted to P3.86 billion, P1.27 billion lower than the P5.1 billion recorded in 2015.

RCBC president and CEO Gil Buenaventura said 2016 was a very challenging year in the history of the bank.

“But through it all, the bank emerged stronger and more resilient, having tested to its full capability all its resources. Now more than ever, RCBC is better equipped, having instituted stronger measures and controls to protect the interests of all its clients,” he said.

The listed bank was dragged into a scandal after it was used as a conduit to launder $81 million funds stolen by hackers from the Bangladesh Bank account at the Reserve Bank of New York in February last year.

As a result, the BSP slapped a record P1 billion fine against RCBC last August while the Anti Money Laundering Council (AMLC) charged several officials and other individuals before the Department of Justice.

The bank said net interest income was steady at P15.7 billion and accounted for 69 percent of its P22.81 billion gross income. Interest earnings from the lending business grew 11.42 percent year-on-year.

It added net interest margin remained strong at 4.06 percent due to the 18.8 percent growth in consumer loans and the 10.2 percent increase in lending to small and medium-sized enterprises as well as microfinance.

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