The bank attributed the robust net income growth to stable asset quality, strong non-interest income performance and marginal rise in operating expenses.
“Our strategy and prudent approach last year paved the way for a strong start in 2021,” said Metrobank president Fabian Dee in a statement.
“Our capital position is double the regulatory minimum, with capital adequacy ratio of 19.9 percent and common equity tier 1 of 19.0 percent. Our reserves also cover 166 percent of our non-performing loans. This ensures that Metrobank will sustain its business resilience, and we remain confident that the Bank is ready to take on opportunities as the economy recovers. We are in a strong position to withstand a resurgence in asset quality risks, and we remain vigilant even as we all continue to battle the pandemic,” Dee said.
Non-interest income surged 28 percent year-on-year to P7.9 billion. Fee-based revenue was stable at P3.3 billion despite business activities still being slower than pre-pandemic levels.
Trust fee income grew at a robust 20 percent, in line with the 30-percent growth in assets under management. Trading and FX gains doubled to P2.9 billion as the Treasury group realized gains prior to the reversal of yields.
Clients continue to place their trust in the bank as current account and savings account deposits grew by 16 percent to P1.3 trillion.
This enabled the bank to reduce high-cost time deposits, which partly mitigated the drop in asset yields arising from the rate cuts in the past year. With the pandemic still on-going, loan demand remained slow, and naturally, net interest income trended lower.
The bank’s balance sheet remained very liquid and ready to support clients when business volumes start improving.
NPL ratio stayed at 2.4 percent from end-2020. Restructured loans comprised 0.4 percent of total loans. The bank set aside provisions of P2.5 billion in the first quarter, which is 50 percent lower year-on-year. NPL cover improved to 166 percent from 163 percent in December 2020.
Operating expenses were stable, inching up by just 1.4 percent to P14.7 billion from sustained efforts to enhance productivity and operational efficiency. Cost-to-income ratio was recorded at 54.6 percent.
Metrobank is the country’s second largest bank with consolidated assets of P2.4 trillion and equity of P306.6 billion. It has one of the largest domestic networks with more than 950 branches, over 2,300 automated teller machines nationwide and more than 30 foreign branches, subsidiaries and representative offices.
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