Ty-led Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) reported a 9.3% drop in first quarter earnings to P6.1 bilion as it doubled its loan loss reserves to protect itself against virus-led loan defaults.
Metrobank set aside P5 billion for potential loan losses, largely as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Gross revenue rose 13%, driven by 6% growth in loans, 8% growth in deposits and non-interest income which reached P6.2 billion.
“Our underlying business is strong. We started the year with healthy growth in loans, deposits and other revenue streams. However, current conditions point to an expected slowdown in the business environment and challenges ahead. Mindful of the potential impact of this pandemic, we decided to take the prudent approach of increasing provisions to cover anticipated risks,” said Fabian S. Dee, president of Metrobank.
During the quarter, Metrobank saw total deposits rise 8% to P1.7 trillion on the back of an 18% growth in CASA deposits. Net loans and receivables went up 6% to P1.4 trillion, reflecting the bank’s continued support to customers’ business requirements across all segments from corporates, middle market, SMEs and retail.
Non-interest income amounted to P6.2 billion, driven by the 7% growth in service fees and commissions to P3.3 billion, and net trading and foreign exchange gains of P1.4 billion.
For the first quarter, the Bank’s non-performing loans (NPL) ratio was relatively stable at 1.4% and the NPL cover substantially improved to 114%. To anticipate the possible impact of the pandemic, the Bank increased provisions to P5.0 billion, more than double the P2.4 billion in the first quarter last year.