PHILIPPINE SAVINGS Bank’s (PSBank) net profit rebounded in 2021, supported by a higher fee income and lower loan loss provisions as asset quality improved.

PSBank’s net income rose by 21% to P1.5 billion last year from 2020, it said in a filing with the local bourse on Monday. Based on its previous financial report, the bank’s net income in 2020 was P1.108 billion.

However, the bank’s 2021 net income was still below the P3.028 billion it booked in 2019 before the crisis.

“The strong income performance was on the back of the increase in fee income by 22%, operating efficiencies which saw expenses decline by 3%, and the reduction in loan loss provisions owing largely to improved asset quality and effective collection efforts,” the bank said.

“Our financial performance in 2021 is a testament of the strength of the bank’s balance sheet, and the agility of the organization to quickly adapt to volatile market conditions. Our early and proactive efforts to adjust our strategies and operations allowed us to be at the forefront of opportunities as they unfold,” PSBank President Jose Vicente L. Alde said.

The lender said loan applications picked up as the economy gradually reopened. In particular, it said retail loan demand went up by the second half of last year.

As of end-2021, the bank’s net nonperforming loan ratio declined to 3.4% from 5.2% a year earlier.

Meanwhile, total deposits increased by 29% to P216.8 billion from P167.46 billion.

PSBank’s assets grew by 19% to P261.81 billion as of end-2021 from P219.41 billion a year earlier. Its capital position reached P34.89 billion.

The bank’s capital adequacy and common equity Tier 1 ratios rose to 24.3% and 23.2% respectively, both above the requirements of the central bank.

The bank carried out digital initiatives last year, including allowing new clients to open a savings or prepaid account through their mobile app. The bank also allowed clients to reload their tollway RFIDs (radio-frequency identification) through online means and to pay their loans through 7-Eleven outlets.

“Our digital transformation roadmap launched earlier than the pandemic allowed us to stay ahead of our customers’ requirements for non-contact banking,” Mr. Alde said. — L.W.T. Noble