PHILIPPINE SAVINGS Bank (PSBank) booked a lower net income in the first quarter as it set aside more loan provisions.

In a filing with the local bourse on Thursday, the thrift unit of the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. said its net income went down 5.1% to P646.2 million as it beefed up its credit provisions amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

“Cognizant of the potential impact of the pandemic to the economy, we decided to exercise prudence by increasing provisions to 150% versus previous year,” PSBank President Jose Vicente L. Alde was quoted as saying in the statement.

The bank’s net interest income increased by 21.8% to P3.2 billion. Meanwhile, net service fees totaled P458.1 million.

During the period, the bank’s loan book grew by 3.6% to P165 billion, buoyed by strong demand prior to the enhanced community quarantine. Its gross nonperforming loan ratio was stable at 3.7%. Meanwhile, low-cost deposits grew 10.2% to P60.6 billion.

Total assets inched up by 1.8% to P240.3 billion, while its total capital stood at P34.8 billion. The bank’s total capital adequacy ratio settled at 17.2%, above the regulatory minimum of 10%.

“During the quarantine period, the bank continued to operate 80% of its branches while keeping in place precautionary measures to ensure that our customers and employees are safe,” Mr. Alde said.

The lender’s shares ended trading at P42.65 apiece on Thursday, unchanged from its Wednesday finish. — L.W.T. Noble