PSBank says Corona trial has no impact on profit

Katherine Visconti
Despite the Corona trial, business at PSBank is not just running as usual, but better than usual

MANILA, Philippines – The impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona had no impact on the earnings of Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank), one of the banks where Corona maintains deposit accounts.

In fact, PSBank’s net income shot up 94% in the first quarter of 2012 to P546 million from P282 million last year, owing to higher demand for loans, the bank reported.

“Our first-quarter loan releases have exceeded our forecast. We are experiencing strong demand for loans with new mortgage loan releases growing 32% versus the similar period last year,” said PSBank President Pascual M. Garcia III.

Garcia was subpoenaed to testify about Corona’s transactions with the bank after the Senate impeachment court allowed the opening of the chief justice’s peso and dollar accounts in relation to allegations he failed to truthfully disclose his assets and net worth.

While Garcia produced Corona’s peso accounts, he refused to disclose his dollar accounts, invoking absolute confidentiality under Republic Act 6426 or the Foreign Currency Deposit Act of the Philippines.

Section 8 of RA 6264 reads: “All foreign currency deposits authorized under this Act are hereby declared as and considered of an absolutely confidential nature and, except upon the written permission of the depositor, in no instance shall foreign currency deposits be examined, inquired or looked into by any person, government official, bureau or office whether judicial or administrative or legislative, or any other entity whether public or private.”

Corona’s trial began on January 16 and went on recess on March 22. It will resume on May 7.

Raising targets

PSBank said its gross loans expanded 11% to P62.7 billion in the first quarter, with auto loans posting 13% growth, and total mortgage loans registering a 10% increase. 

The bank opened 6 new branches in the first quarter and its ATMs reached 515, now the 7th largest network in the country, it claimed.

“Given the strong first-quarter results, we are raising our loan growth targets. Should this trend continue, we may exceed our net income target of P2.2 billion for the year,” Garcia said.

PSBank ended 2011 with a record net income of P2 billion, up 12% year-on-year. –