Philippine National Bank said Wednesday consolidated net income amounted to P31.7 billion in 2021, or 12 times higher than the bottom line in 2020, on the back of gains from the properties-for-share swap with PNB Holdings Corp.
Income from core banking operations amounted to P40.1 billion in 2021, up 2 percent year-on-year despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“PNB continued to be profitable and was able to provide non-stop banking services to customers and the general public during the pandemic,” said PNB president and chief executive Jose Arnulfo Veloso.
“We continued to play our part in helping customers and employees by building safer banking processes and services amidst the continuing pandemic situation,” he said.
Net service fees and commissions grew 43 percent, driven by higher loan-related and deposit-related transactions and significant bancassurance and underwriting deals completed last year. This was supplemented by the upward traction on fees from the increasing use of the Bank’s digital platform.
Net interest income was stable at P34.8 billion in 2021, and managed to maintain a net interest margin of 3.2 percent. The bank’s loan portfolio grew 1 percent to P607.0 billion as of end-2021, while total deposits increased year-on-year by P4.6 billion, closing at P894.9 billion as of end-2021.
Core operating income was complemented by a P33.4-billion gain from the properties-for-share swap completed during the year with PNB Holdings. This is part of a series of transactions which aim to monetize the value of the bank’s low-earnings assets.
The bank recorded trading and foreign exchange gains of P1.5 billion in 2021, down by 65 percent year-on-year. In 2020, PNB took advantage of the decline in benchmark interest rates to off load a significant amount of its trading portfolio.
PNB said while it continued to build its loss reserves on loans of borrowers which are directly hit by the pandemic, it recorded much lower impairment and credit provisions in 2021 by 24 percent.
It said that as part of continuing strategy to trim down nonperforming loans, it sold certain NPLs in 2021 with gross carrying amounts prior to sale of P5.5 billion, resulting in gain on sale of P767.0 million.
Operating expenses, excluding provisions, decreased by 6 percent from the previous year as the bank focused on more essential expenditures especially during the challenging times.
Capital adequacy ratio at 13.66 percent and common equity tier 1 ratio at 12.96 percent remained above the minimum regulatory requirement of 10 percent.