EAST WEST Banking Corp.’s (EastWest Bank) net earnings surged at end-September from higher revenues due to fees, improved margins, higher gains from trading activities, as well as lower credit costs.

In a disclosure to the bourse on Monday, the bank said it saw its net profit jump by 43% in the first nine months of the year to P4.6 billion.

The bank reported a return on equity of 14%, while its total assets increased by 15% to P387.3 billion.

“In the first half of the year, we faced a margin squeezed. Our asset yields went up by 73 basis points while our interest expenses doubled from the tight liquidity. Market liquidity had started to normalize in the third quarter and funding cost went lower. We are proud to see our consumer-led business model works,” EastWest Bank President and Deputy Chief Executive Officer Jesus Roberto S. Reyes was quoted in the statement.

As of writing, the bank has not disclosed third quarter figures.

As of September, EastWest Bank’s revenues inched up by 11% to P21 billion from the P18.9 billion it booked in the same period last year.

The lender’s net interest income also grew by P714 million to P15.2 billion during the first nine months, with earnings from fees and commissions increasing by 15% to P3.9 billion.

Gains from securities and foreign exchange trading stood at P1.4 billion during the nine-month period, which was P952.8 million higher from a year ago.

Likewise, the bank’s total loans went up by 13% to P261.5 billion, 73% of which were from consumer loans.

Meanwhile, it reported a 10% growth in total deposits to P291.6 billion, with current account, savings account deposits increasing by 16% year-on-year.

The bank’s operating expenses, excluding provisions for losses, also grew 11% to P12.3 billion due to “business-related expenses and intensified marketing acquisition campaigns to generate more loans and retail deposits”.

Its cost-to-income ratio was steady at 59%.

Provisions for losses declined by 15% year-on-year to P2.7 billion due to the bank’s “more seasoned consumer portfolio.”

EastWest Bank Chief Executive Officer Antonio C. Moncupa said the bank is still “on track to have the most profitable year” and will continue to grow and maintain its “position among the most profitable banks in the industry.”

Shares in EastWest Bank went up 50 centavos or 3.88% to P13.38 apiece on Monday. — Beatrice M. Laforga