Union Bank of the Philippines reported a 79 percent surge in net income to P4.7 billion in the first three months of 2021 from the same period last year.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the bank said first quarter earnings is also 53 percent higher than the last three months of 2020.

Net revenues were at P14.3 billion, up 50 percent from the same period last year and 39 percent more than the last quarter.

Net interest income increased by 6 percent to P7.2 billion despite muted credit demand. This was attributable to the robust growth of CASA deposits, which grew 29 percent year-on-year.

Non-interest income rose by 2.6 times to P7.1 billion mainly driven by trading gains. 

“I am pleased with the Bank’s first quarter results despite continued challenges from the pandemic. We continue to see a big shift in the use of digital channels,” said UnionBank President and CEO Edwin R. Bautista.

UnionBank president and CEO, Edwin R. Bautista

He noted that, “The Bank onboarded more than 470,000 new digital customers in the first quarter of 2021 alone. As of end-March 2021, 2.4 million customers are using our app.”

Bautista said “Digital transactions are averaging 6 million per month with UnionBank ranking among the top banks in terms of PESONet and InstaPay transactions. This digital shift motivates us to continue enhancing features across our digital platforms.”

The higher net revenues provided cushion for the Bank to book additional loan loss provisions of P2.3 billion even as non-performing loan ratio has declined to 4.7 percent from 5.1 percent in December 2020.

It also allowed the Bank to absorb the one-time impact on deferred tax assets due to the CREATE Law. 

As of end-March 2021, total assets were at P747.3 billion, nearly flat versus a year ago. Total loans and receivables were down by 12 percent to P344.9 billion driven by weak demand for corporate loans.

Total high-cost deposits were lower by 22 percent to P222.8 billion as funding requirements were supported by low-cost CASA deposits. 

“Our strong financial performance in the first quarter puts us on track to achieve our 2021 targets. We’re also starting the year with strong capital ratios, better margins, and improving credit risk,” said UnionBank CFO and Treasurer Jose Emmanuel U. Hilado.

He added that, “Nonetheless, we shall continue to monitor developments from the recent reinstatement of ECQ/MECQ and adjust our business plans accordingly to achieve our financial targets and protect our balance sheet.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2021/04/23/unionbank-net-earnings-surge-79-to-p4-7-b-in-first-quarter/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=unionbank-net-earnings-surge-79-to-p4-7-b-in-first-quarter)