CIMB BANK Philippines, Inc. expects its loans to grow by 40% this year as the central bank is widely expected to start its easing cycle.

The digital commercial bank also aims to boost its deposits by more than 25%, while adding as many as 1.5 million customers, CIMB Bank PH Chief Business Strategy Officer Ankur Sehgal said to reporters on Thursday.

“In the next three years, we are expecting a continuous yearly growth of more than 25% for deposits. For lending, we are expecting growth to be much higher,” he said. “[For] loans… we are targeting a yearly growth of almost 40%. So we are targeting to double our balance sheet in the next three years.”

CIMB had more than 7.5 million customers at the end of last year. It expects the number of clients to exceed 10 million in the next three years.

“This is not an official target, but I think based on our projection, because we do see some competition coming in to be fair, and because of that, I think our three-year target of 10 million is conservative,” Mr. Sehgal said. “We may end up higher, but we do recognize the competition from other digital banks.”

Expected rate cuts by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) this year are seen helping the bank increase its loan margins.

CIMB expects BSP to cut key rates by 50 basis points (bps) in the next three to six months.

The central bank raised borrowing costs by 450 bps from May 2022 to October 2023, bringing the policy rate to a 16-year high of 6.5%.

To support growth, the bank will introduce new commercial and deposit products. It will also be “venturing into different segments.”

“We have a couple more partners that are coming up in the next couple of months,” Mr. Sehgal said. “With those new partners coming on board, we are expecting loan growth to be doubling down.”

CIMB assets had P33.52 billion in assets at the end of September, according to data from the central bank. — Aaron Michael C. Sy