Philippines banks earn P223 billion in 2021

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine banks returned to profit growth last year, earning 44 percent more than in 2020, as provisioning for bad debts dropped sharply in line with the continued recovery from the COVID pandemic.

Preliminary data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed banks’ combined income bounced back to near pre-pandemic level at P223.66 billion last year, from P155.22 billion in 2020.

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, banks’ earnings slumped by 32.7 percent from an all-time high of P230.67 billion in 2019.

The BSP data also showed operating income of Philippine banks decreased by 3.7 percent to P860.46 billion, while net interest income slipped by 2.9 percent to P654.76 billion in 2021 as interest earnings declined by 9.6 percent to P768.2 billion while interest expenses fell by 35.2 percent to P114.11 billion.

Likewise, the banking sector’s non-interest earnings went down by 6.1 percent to P205.71 billion as trading gains fell by 27.6 percent to P81.99 billion, offsetting the 18.6 percent increase in fees and commission income to P106.13 billion. Non-interest expenses inched up by 2.8 percent to P505.34 billion.

But according to the BSP, the industry’s provision for credit losses on loans and other financial assets plummeted by 50.1 percent to P105.61 billion last year from P211.61 billion in 2020, as the economy continues to reopen from strict COVID lockdowns.

On the other hand, soured loans written off by Philippine banks went up by 17.2 percent to P7.49 billion in 2021 from P6.39 billion in 2020.



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