RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Philippines

EastWest Bank records good numbers

The Philippines’ EastWest Banking Corporation posts industry leading numbers for the first quarter.

The bank saw its net profit by 4.9 percent year-on-year to US$11 million, mainly on higher interest and fee-based earnings. Revenues rose 34% to U$50.5% from the same period last year.

The net profit improvement gave the bank a return on equity of 16.5% and a return on assets of 2.1%, among the best in the banking industry.

Trading income from fixed income securities and foreign exchange accounted for 49.8 % of the increase in total revenues. Core earnings from lending and fees rose by 18.1% year-on-year.

Operating costs, however, rose by 36 percent year- on- year to US$31billion in the first quarter due in part to ongoing expansion and manpower, technology and advertising costs.

“What is important to us at this point is to build our revenue base. To do that, we will continue expanding our national footprint of branches and increase our coverage of the consumer and mid-sized corporate lending businesses and further improve customer service,” said EastWest Bank president Antonio Moncupa Jr.

The bank ended March with 144 branches and has expanded its distribution network by 31 branches since 2011. EastWest plans to increase its branches to 350 by 2014.

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