PHILIPPINE Savings Bank booked a higher net income in the first quarter.

PHILIPPINE SAVINGS Bank (PSBank) saw its net income climb in the first quarter, driven by interest income growth as well as expense management.

In a regulatory filing on Tuesday, the Ty-led thrift lender said it booked a P680.7-million net profit in the first three months of the year, up 10.3% from P617 million tallied in the same period in 2018.

Interest income grew 10.3% to P34.33 billion in the January-March period.

Total loans stood at P159.3 billion, up 6.8% from P149.2 billion in the comparable year-ago period. PSBank attributed this growth to its car and housing loan portfolios.

Meanwhile, the bank’s net non-performing loans ratio was steady at 3.1%.

On the funding side, total deposits marginally declined by 0.6% to P185 billion from the P186 billion posted in the comparable year-ago period as the lender rebalanced its funding strategy focusing on low-cost funds, retail clients and alternative sources, PSBank said.

With this, low-cost deposits improved by 6.6% to P55 billion in the first quarter from P51.6 billion last year.

Other operating income however declined 23.81% to P290.87 billion in the first quarter from P381.74 million the previous year. This was attributed to lower gains on foreclosure and sale of chattel mortgage at P20.79 million from P147.18 million in the January-March period last year.

Excluding provisions for impairment, other operating expenses reached P2.15 billion in the three months ended March, down 6.45% from P2.3 billion last year.

Overall, PSBank’s total assets grew 4.9% year-on-year to P236.2 billion from P225.1 billion.

Capital adequacy ratio stood at 18.4%, while common equity Tier 1 ratio was at 15.9%, both well above the central bank’s regulatory minimum.

“The bank’s commendable double-digit growth puts us on track of out 2019 targets, and is a deliberate result of firm commitment to reinforce our sales efforts, improve on operating efficiencies, digitize products and channels and consistently provide exceptional customer experience,” PSBank President Jose Vicente L. Alde was quoted as saying in the disclosure.

PSBank, the second-largest thrift bank in asset terms, completed its P8-billion stock rights offer last January, offering 184.7 million common shares priced at P56 apiece.

Local debt watcher Philippine Ratings Services Corp. affirmed its PRS Aaa (corp.) issuer rating on PSBank last month, indicating continued growth in core interest income and strong market position.

To date, the lender has a distribution network of 250 branches and over 570 automated teller machines located nationwide.

PSBank shares closed at P57.45 apiece on Tuesday, down P1.05 or 1.79% from the previous finish. — K.A.N. Vidal