Freeman Cebu Business

Metrobank earns record P42.2 billion in 2023

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Universal banking institution, Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) posted record earnings of P42.2 billion, which is 28.9percent higher year-on-year.

This translated to a return on equity (ROE) of 12.5 percent, higher than 10.3 percent in 2022. Total consolidated assets expanded by 9.2 percent to PHP3.1 trillion in 2023, maintaining its status as the country’s second largest private universal bank.

According to Metrobank president Fabian S. Dee, the bank’s strong profitability and substantial capital base prompted the Board of Directors to approve a total cash dividend of P5.00 per share for year.

In addition, a special cash dividend of P2.00 per share was also declared. This payout will be given to shareholders on record as of March 8, 2024.

“Our solid performance in 2023 was strongly driven by our asset expansion, higher margins, improving efficiency levels and better asset quality. This indicates that we are firmly on track with our long-term growth strategies supported by our highly capable and resilient team of Metrobankers and strong balance sheet.  We look forward to further expanding our partnerships with all our stakeholders,” saidDee.

The Bank’s net interest income grew by 22.7 percent fueled by higher loan demand and better net interest margin of 3.9 percent. Gross loans rose by 7.6 percent year-on-year, with consumer portfolio increasing by 15.9 percent on strong discretionary spending, outpacing the 5.5 percent rise in commercial loans. Meanwhile, total deposits grew by 7.3 percent from the previous year to PHP2.4 trillion with low-cost current and savings accounts (CASA) amounting to more than 60 percent or PHP1.4 trillion.

Fee income increased by 9.0 percent to PHP16.4 billion, largely driven by the expanding consumer business. Trading and forex gains were steady at PHP4.0 billion.

Cost to income ratio eased to 52.1 percent from 54.3percent in 2022. The robust revenue growth offset the 14.0% increase in operating expenses, which was driven by transaction-related taxes, technology costs and higher manpower in line with capacity expansion.

Asset quality continued to improve. Non-performing loans (NPLs) ratio eased to 1.7 percent from 1.9 percent in 2022, well below the banking system’s 3.3 percent NPL ratio.

Moreover, the Bank’s NPL cover remained substantial at 180.3 percent, reflecting its ability to weather any risks to the loan portfolio.

The Bank’s total equity stood at PHP356.7 billion, while capital ratios remain to be one of the highest in the industry, with capital adequacy ratio at 18.3 percent and Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio at 17.4 percent, all well-above the minimum regulatory requirements.

Metrobank’s notable performance continued to be recognized by top financial publications in 2023. Metrobank received back-to-back awards from The Banker as the country’s “Bank of the Year”; the Asian Banker’s “Strongest Bank in the Philippines” for the third year; and Asiamoney’s “Best Domestic Private Bank”, Best Bank for the Ultra High Net Worth and “Best Service for the Philippines” in the Asia Money Trade Finance Survey.

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