SECURITY BANK Corp.’s A- credit rating was maintained by Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR), citing the bank’s relatively robust domestic business base, high profitability, and solid capital base.

The JCR rating affirmation on March 29 noted the lender’s financial stability was maintained based on its high loan-loss provision coverage ratio and capital adequacy ratio, paired with high profitability through high net interest margin, the bank said in a statement on Monday.

The unchanged rating also includes the impact of Security Bank’s alliance with MUFG Bank, it added.

“JCR also holds that Security Bank’s non-performing loan ratio will continue to be controlled at a manageable level if the economy recovers steadily as the pandemic subsides because the bank has strengthened its credit management for individual borrowers,” the bank added.

The bank’s provision coverage ratio stood at 115% as of end-2020. Meanwhile, its common equity Tier 1 ratio was at 19.2%, among the highest in the industry.

The bank said its equity ratio was improved partly due to the equity investment of MUFG Bank, which boosted its capital base, its 2020 net income, and the decline in risk assets due to tighter lending and sale of securities.

“Our strong capital position is an important pillar which both our customers and employees can rely upon to weather the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Security Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Sanjiv Vohra.

Security Bank’s net income declined 26.7% in 2020 to P7.4 billion from P10.1 billion in 2019 as it beefed up loan provisions amid the pandemic.

The lender’s shares closed at P120.80 on Monday, slipping by 20 centavos or by 0.17% from its previous close. — Luz Wendy T. Noble