RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Philippines

Philippine big banks half-year profits up 7.7% to $1.45b

The combined assets of the banking sector also hit $301.58b.

Big banks from the Philippines opened the fiscal year on strong financial footing after profits rose 7.7% YoY to $1.45b (PHP77.36b) in the first six months of 2018.

The assets held by the country’s banking sector also rose 10.2% YoY to $301.58b (PHP16.1t) in H1 2018 on the back of steady deposit growth.

“Reforms through the years have also bolstered capitalisation – overall bank capitalisation is comfortably above local and international standards. Bank loans continue to expand at double-digit rates,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas deputy governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. told local media.

He added the local banking plays remained prepared to absorb credit losses through sufficient provisions for possible defaults in line with regulatory norms.

“The trajectory for profit growth will continue, driven mainly by strong growth outlook, upbeat lending activities, product innovations, and more cost-efficient and technology-enabled operations,” he added.

Also read: Philippine banks explore blockchain for payment and remittance services

The Philippine market represents a massive opportunity for banks to deploy digital alternatives in an effort to reach around 60% of the unbanked adult population, according to World Bank data.

The tech-savvy millennial population is also a plus in accelerating the banks' digitalisation efforts as the share of Filipino adults who paid bills or bought products or services online hit 9.9% in 2017, whilst those who made or received digital payments in 2017 surged to 25.1% over the same period.  

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