Assets of Philippine banks up 12% to P25.5 trillion

Keisha Ta-Asan - The Philippine Star
Assets of Philippine banks up 12% to P25.5 trillion
On a monthly basis, however, the banks’ total assets went down by 0.6 percent from P25.65 trillion as of end-March.
Philstar.com / Irra Lising

MANILA, Philippines — Local banks continued to post double-digit growth in total resources this year, further expanding by 12 percent year-on-year to reach P25.48 trillion as of end-April, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.

On a monthly basis, however, the banks’ total assets went down by 0.6 percent from P25.65 trillion as of end-March.

Banks’ resources include funds and assets such as deposits, capital, bonds and debt securities.

Assets of universal and commercial banks increased by 11.9 percent to P23.93 trillion from P21.38 trillion a year ago. Big banks accounted for 93.9 percent of the banking industry’s total assets as of end-April.

Resources of thrift banks grew by 9.2 percent to P1.03 trillion as of end-April from P947 billion in the comparable period last year. Mid-sized banks covered four percent of the overall banking resources.

The newer digital banking group also posted double-digit growth of 49.1 percent in assets, reaching P97.1 billion as of end-April from P65.1 billion in the same period a year ago.

Meanwhile, the BSP has yet to update its data for rural and cooperative banks. The total assets of these smaller banks stood at P425 billion as of end-March, 15.8 percent higher than the P367 billion seen in the previous year.

As of December 2023, the country has 45 big banks, 42 thrift banks, 389 rural and cooperative banks as well as six digital banks under the BSP’s supervision.

Sy-led BDO Unibank Inc. stood as the number one bank with the largest resources at P4.28 trillion, followed by state-run Land Bank of the Philippines with P3.27 trillion and the Ty Group’s Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. with P3.06 trillion.

Other top lenders in terms of asset size are Bank of the Philippine Islands, China Banking Corp., Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Philippine National Bank, Security Bank Corp., Union Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines.

Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the Philippine banking system has strong capital and liquidity buffers, while the expected gradual easing of monetary policy in the near term will further support domestic demand this year and in 2025.

“Nonetheless, banks’ exposures to commercial real estate and leveraged corporates warrant close monitoring in the current high interest rate environment,” IMF mission chief to the Philippines Elif Arbatli Saxegaard earlier said.

Saxegaard said it is crucial to carefully monitor the commercial real estate and real estate sector as it is a big part of the Philippine banking industry’s lending portfolio.

“One needs to be vigilant to monitor these risks and address the risks through building more buffers in the banking system, in the financial system,” she said.

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