Metrobank income up 27% to P22 billion in 2019
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - February 21, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Earnings of Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. jumped by 27.5 percent to P28.06 billion last year from P22.01 billion in 2018 amid the consistent improvement in operating revenues.

Metrobank president Fabian Dee said the bank’s initiatives contributed to the strong finish, allowing it to perform “significantly well” in 2019.

“Our increased profitability, more efficient operations, and sustained business growth are the direct result of our continued mission to deliver what is meaningful to our customers and validates their trust and confidence in our bank,” he said.

Metrobank’s net interest income went up by 12 percent to P77 billion, accounting for 72 percent of its total revenues of P106.9 billion, bringing net interest margin to 3.84 percent.

On the other hand, non-interest income jumped 26 percent to P29.9 billion, benefiting from higher customer flows in fixed income and foreign exchange, on top of a favorable financial market environment.

The bank said service fees and commissions booked a 12 percent increase to P14.3 billion, while trading and foreign gains more than tripled to P9.3 billion.

With the bank’s continued focus on improving efficiency and productivity, Dee said operating expense grew at a manageable level of eight percent.

“This, coupled with relatively strong revenue growth for the period, led to an improvement in the cost-to-income ratio to 55 percent from 58 percent in 2018,” he said.

He added modest portfolio growth ensured adherence to the bank’s credit standards and sustained better-than-industry asset quality metrics, with non-performing loans (NPL) ratio at 1.3 percent from 1.5 percent last September.

The country’s second largest lender in terms of assets allotted P10.1 billion provisions for credit and impairment losses, further improving NPL cover to 103 percent from 96 percent last quarter.

Metrobank’s consolidated assets and equity stood at P2.5 trillion and P309.6 billion, respectively. Total capital adequacy ratio was at 17.5 percent with Common Equity Tier 1 ratio of 16.2 percent, comfortably above regulatory requirements.

The bank’s loan book rose by seven percent to P1.5 trillion while its deposit base increased faster at 10 percent to P1.7 trillion.

Aligned with continued Philippine economic expansion, the rise in credit demand was driven by the commercial segment’s seven percent increase as well as sustained consumer lending growth led by the 23 percent jump in the credit cards business.            

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