UNITED COCONUT Planters Bank (UCPB) saw its net income rise in the first nine months of the year on the back of sustained growth in its consumer loan portfolio and the upbeat performance of its bancassurance business.

In a statement sent to reporters on Tuesday, the state-led UCPB said it booked a net income of P3.03 billion in the nine months ended September, climbing 5% from the P2.88 billion recorded in the same period a year ago. This was coming from a P2.01-billion net income booked in the first half of the year.

Net interest income for the January to September period rose 15% to P8.3 billion.

On the other hand, UCPB’s non-interest income dropped 23% to P1.86 billion due to “lower trading opportunities.”

The bank’s total loan portfolio stood at P157.57 billion as of end-September, up from P135.97 billion in the first nine months of 2016. UCBP’s consumer loans contributed 16% to the growth, driven by “growing consumer spending confidence and investment appetite.”

Deposits also grew 11% to P277.96 billion versus the same period last year.

Meanwhile, UCBP’s bancassurance business, launched in April, posted a P38 million income.

Operational expenses were kept at bay, posting a 9% increase year-on-year.

“All of our business segments contributed strongly to our record performance this quarter, notably consumer and corporate loans on the back of steady economic growth,” UCBP President and Chief Executive Officer Higinio O. Macadaeg Jr. said in the statement.

In October, the twelfth largest bank in asset terms completed its transition of upgrading its automated teller machines and bank cards to the Europay, MasterCard and Visa technology, months ahead of the central bank’s deadline of June 30, 2018.

UCPB has also implemented a one-day check clearing system as mandated by the central bank, giving its clients faster access to their funds at 12 noon the next banking day.

“As the year draws to a close, UCPB will be relentless in continuing to achieve operational efficiencies and raising productivity. Judging from our performance these past nine months, we look forward to an even better year in 2018 for UCPB,” Mr. Macadaeg added. — K.A.N. Vidal