EAST WEST Banking Corp. (EastWest Bank) booked a double-digit growth in its net income in 2017 on the back of the robust performance of its businesses.

In a disclosure to the local bourse on Thursday, the Gotianun-led EastWest Bank said it posted a P5.1-billion bottom line in 2017, 48% higher than the P3.4 billion logged the previous year.

The growth in the bank’s net income was supported by its main business as core earnings climbed 21% to P24.2 billion from the figure booked in 2016.

“We thank our customers for our best year so far. Their continued patronage allowed us to make progress in improving productivity,” EastWest Bank President Jesus Roberto S. Reyes said in the statement.

Broken down, EastWest Bank said in the statement that its net interest income and fee-based earnings grew 19.8% and 29.2%, respectively. However, its trading income slipped to P760 million by 16.6% from the P911.5 million recorded in 2016.

Total loans reached P220.1 billion, rising by 10.7% year on year. Its consumer loans, which accounted for 71% of the bank’s total loans, grew 17% to P160.3 billion. Deposits rose 7.7% to P258.7 billion, with low-cost deposits rising 11.1%.

Overall, EastWest Bank’s net revenues reached P25.6 billion in 2017, up 17% year on year.

Meanwhile, the lender’s operating expenses stood at P13.9 billion, higher by 19.1% as the bank invested in broadening and deepening its senior management bench, it said on Thursday.

Its assets, on the other hand, grew 8.8%

The bank’s net interest margin came in at 7.8% as of end-2017, the highest in the industry, according to the lender.

The bank’s return on equity was at 13.8%, while return on assets stood at 1.7%. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal