Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company, the country’s second-largest lender, said Thursday consolidated net income climbed 27 percent in 2019 to P28.1 billion from a year ago, on the back of moderate loan growth and margin expansion, strong trading and foreign exchange gains, double-digit increase on fee-based income and manageable cost growth.
“The bank performed significantly well in 2019, and all our initiatives contributed to the strong finish,” said Metrobank president Fabian Dee.
“Our increased profitability, more efficient operations and sustained business growth are the direct result of our continued mission to deliver what is meaningful to our customers and validates their trust and confidence in our Bank,” he said.
Metrobank grew CASA [current account, savings account] deposits by 12 percent, driving overall robust deposit growth of 10 percent to P1.7 trillion.
The bank closed 2019 with an improved 63-percent CASA ratio, providing liquidity to support loan growth of 7 percent to P1.5 trillion.
It said that with the continued Philippine economic expansion, the rise in credit demand was driven by the commercial segment’s 7-percent increase and sustained consumer lending growth led by the 23-percent jump in the credit card business.
Net interest income expanded 12 percent to P77 billion, accounting for 72 percent of the bank’s total revenues of P106.9 billion, bringing net interest margin to 3.84 percent.
Non-interest income rose 26 percent to P29.9 billion, benefiting from higher customer flows in fixed income and foreign exchange, on top of a favorable financial market environment.
Service fees and commissions grew 12 percent to P14.3 billion, while trading and FX gains more than tripled to P9.3 billion.
Operating expenses grew at a manageable level of 8 percent, coupled with relatively strong revenue growth for the period. This led to an improvement in the cost-to-income ratio to 55 percent from 58 percent in 2018.
Modest portfolio growth ensured adherence to the bank’s credit standards and sustained better-than-industry asset quality metrics, with non-performing loans ratio at 1.3 percent from 1.5 percent in September 2019.
The bank allotted P10.1 billion as provisions for credit and impairment losses, further improving NPL cover to 103 percent from 96 percent in the last quarter.
Metrobank’s consolidated assets and equity stood at P2.5 trillion and P309.6 billion, respectively.
Total capital adequacy ratio was at 17.5 percent with common equity tier 1 ratio of 16.2 percent, comfortably above regulatory requirements.