MANILA, Philippines – Earnings of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) in 2022 exceeded pre-pandemic levels, on the back of strong loan growth in a reopening economy.
Full-year net income reached P39.6 billion, up 66% from the previous year, and 37.5% higher than its pre-pandemic net income in 2019.
The Ayala-led bank also posted record revenues of P118.5 billion, which was up 21.7% year-on-year. Net interest income also grew to P85.1 billion as net interest margins widened by 28 basis points. Non-interest income also improved by 20.3%, reaching P33.5 billion, which BPI attributed to higher fees from credit cards and transaction banking services, gains from foreign exchange transactions, and a one-off gain on a property sale.
On the balance sheet side, BPI’s total assets expanded to P2.6 trillion, 7.5% higher year-on-year. The bank also highlighted its strong growth in deposits and loans, which the bank said were above industry averages. As of December 31, 2022, total deposits grew 7.2% year-on-year to P2.1 trillion, while net loans went up 15.3% year-on-year to P1.7 trillion.
Despite the rosy record numbers for the year, the universal bank nonetheless remained cautious. BPI chief finance officer Eric Luchangco said that volume may have been created by pent-up demand due to the reopening of markets, and that the increase in value may have been influenced by inflation.
Still, BPI is hopeful that its continued growth will be boosted by its merger with Robinsons Bank. BPI is absorbing the Gokongwei-led bank, subject to regulatory approvals from the Philippine Competition Commission, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and Securities and Exchange Commission.
“The Robinsons deal has been approved by the shareholders. All regulatory filings, I believe, have been made. It should take about 6 months,” BPI’s president and chief executive officer Jose Teodoro “TG” Limcaoco said during an analysts’ briefing on Monday, February 6.
Previously, Limcaoco also estimated that the merger would “expand BPI’s key balance sheet metrics by between 6.5% [and] maybe 7%.” He said this would immediately bump up BPI’s industry ranking in deposits to second from third.
He noted that the merger could take effect as early as October 1, 2023, although a more likely date would be January 1, 2024. Preparations for the integration of the two bank’s systems are already underway, and Limcaoco estimated that they could be fully integrated within a year. – Rappler.com
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