THE QUASI-BANKING sector booked a higher net income at end-September backed by a slight improvement in its interest earnings and lower provisions for bad debts.

Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed nonbanks with quasi-banking functions (NBQBs) booked a net income worth P762 million at end-September, nearly three times (182%) the P270 million seen in the same period a year earlier.

Broken down, the net profit of investment houses hit P233 million in the January to September period, turning around from the P101-million net loss posted last year.

Meanwhile, the net income of BSP-supervised financing companies increased by 43% to P529 million at end-September from P370 million a year ago.

The quasi-banking industry’s net interest income inched up by 0.39% to P5.111 billion in the first nine months of 2021 from P5.091 billion.

These firms saw their interest earnings drop by 51.2% to P318 million, while their leasing income improved by 2% to P9.512 billion. Interest expenses dropped by 3.61% to P4.719 billion.

Investment houses alone registered a net interest income of P48 million at end-September, plunging by 80% from P248 million a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the net interest income of financing companies increased by 13% to P5.063 billion at end-September from P4.843 billion a year ago.

At end-September, the fee-based income of quasi-banks increased by 43% to P877 million from P614 million.

The industry recorded P12 million in trading losses in the period, reversing the P14 million in gains a year ago.

Bad debts written off by financing firms amounted to P275 million, higher by 6.46% than the P294 million a year earlier.

Meanwhile, provisions set aside by these companies slipped by 2% year on year to P1.907 billion at end-September from P1.944 billion.

Total assets held by NBQBs stood at P173.628 billion at end-September, lower by 4.4% than the P181.654 billion recorded a year earlier. — L.W.T. Noble