RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, Philippines

Philippines' total bank profits up 23% to $1.07bn

Robust operating income and disciplined expenses fuelled growth.

The latest figures showed the strength and resiliency of the local banking sector amid negative developments abroad, the central bank governor said late last week.

Universal and commercial banks’ profits climbed by 23.57% to P46.468 billion ($1.07 billion) in the first half from P37.604 billion in the same period last year, the BSP said in its Web site.

“I think it is a reflection of the continuing good overall performance of the banking system and this is made more significant because it is happening at a time when there are important or significant problems that are being faced by the countries in the west,” BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. told reporters.

“In fact, the increase in profitability in the first half shows that they can weather the impact of external crisis,” he added.

Universal and commercial banks’ interest income, or profits from lending and investments, rose by 5.67% to P95.994 billion in the first semester from P90.838 billion a year ago.

Non-interest income -- gains from foreign exchange and securities trading, as well as fees and charges -- surged by 16.7% to P56.796 billion from P48.66 billion in the previous year, the BSP said.

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