BANK OF the Philippine Islands’ net profit climbed in 2019. — BW FILE PHOTO

BANK OF THE Philippine Islands (BPI) booked double-digit growth in its earnings in 2019 backed by bigger revenues.

The Ayala-led lender’s net income in 2019 surged by 24.8% year on year to P28.8 billion, it said in a disclosure to the local bourse on Wednesday.

For the fourth quarter alone, BPI’s net income went up by 11.6% to P6.77 billion.

Meanwhile, comprehensive income for the full year was at P28.77 billion, the bank said.

The lender said its net interest margin grew by 24 basis points in 2019 to 3.35% from 3.11% in 2018.

On the other hand, BPI said its non-interest income jumped 25.2% year on year to P28.39 billion in 2019, buoyed by higher fee-based income and securities trading gains.

Operating expenses amounted to P50.08 billion, growing by 14.8%. Meanwhile, cost-to-income ratio was at 53.1%, which dipped from the 55.5% seen in the 2018.

Loans disbursed by the bank grew 8.9% year on year to P1.48 trillion in 2019. This was backed by the growth seen in segments including consumer (13.4%), corporate (7.9%), and small and medium-sized enterprise (5.8%) loans.

The bank’s loan-to-deposit ratio for the year was at 87%.

Meanwhile, deposits went up 6.9% to P1.70 trillion in 2019, while its current and savings account (CASA) ratio stood at 69.1%.

Comprehensive income for the full year was at P28.77 billion.

Looking into 2020, the bank said they will target to offer more services geared towards the SMEs as well as self-employed professionals.

“BPI is in a better position now to offer financial services to more Filipinos, specifically self-employed micro entrepreneurs (SEMEs) and SMEs who make up a huge part of the Philippine economy,” BPI President Cezar S. Consing said in a text message.

Aside from this, Mr. Consing said they will also boost their digitalization and sustainable financing initiatives.

“Digitalization will further drive our financial inclusion initiatives, while our green financing programs will help us create a more sustainable society,” he added.

Last year, BPI issued over P3.1 billion worth of 5.5-year long-term negotiable certificates of deposit (LTNCD) with a yield of 4% per annum in October 2019.

Apart from this, the bank also issued green bonds worth 100 million swiss francs in August and another $300 million in September.

Meanwhile, its thrift unit, BPI Family Savings Bank, also saw its maiden bond issuance worth P9.6 billion which have a tenor of 2.5 years and a rate of 4.3% per annum.

BPI’s shares finished trading at P84.50 apiece on Thursday, inching up by 1.81% or 1.50 centavos from its Wednesday finish. — LWTN