RIZAL Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) booked a higher consolidated net income in the first half of the year following the robust performance of its core businesses.

The lender’s consolidated net income rose by 84% year on year to P6.14 billion in the January to June period, it said in a disclosure to the stock exchange on Monday.

This translated to a return on equity of 9.5%, while return on assets was at 1.1%.

Its quarterly report was unavailable as of press time.

“We are excited to unlock more business opportunities and make positive disruptions to accelerate our growth and create more value for our customers,” RCBC President and Chief Executive Officer Eugene S. Acevedo said in a statement.

The bank’s gross income reached P21.23 billion as net interest earnings grew by 18%. Earning assets of P850 billion continued to expand, buoyed by the 59% increase in RCBC’s investment securities portfolio.

“With the help of data science and analytics, the bank cautiously built up loans primarily from safe-haven sectors in the corporate, SME (small and medium enterprises), mortgage and credit card segments. Cross-selling initiatives boosted its credit card portfolio by 27%, bringing total cards in force to nearly 925,000,” the bank said.

Non-interest income increased by 48% on the back of the “strong growth” in its digital and retail transactions. This was underpinned by the strong growth in trust, retail, and digital transactions. RCBC’s DiskarTech app rose by 199% in total transaction value, while RCBC Digital grew by 53%.

Meanwhile, the bank’s operating expenses went up by 10% due to higher business tax and volume-related expenses. RCBC said it optimized its traditional and digital delivery channels, resulting in a better cost-to-income ratio of 58%. 

The Yuchengco-led bank’s resources breached the P1-trillion mark as of June, higher by 19% year on year, which it said was driven by solid expansion of its customer loans and treasury assets.

Supporting the bank’s asset buildup was the 24% jump in its total deposits to P739.51 billion as low-cost current and savings account deposits expanded by 18%.

RCBC also set aside 20% lower impairment provisions as its nonperforming loan ratio eased to 2.73% amid its improved credit underwriting and management.

The bank’s capital base was at P112.05 billion as of June. Its capital adequacy and common equity Tier 1 ratios stood at 15.49% and 12.38%, respectively, above the minimum required by the regulator.

RCBC’s shares went up by 34 centavos or 1.73% to end at P19.94 apiece on Monday. — K.B. Ta-asan