Wednesday, June 24, 2009 [ manilatimes.net ]
Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank), the thrift banking arm of the Metrobank Group, said its consumer lending business grew by double digits in May due to high demand for auto and housing loans amid the low interest rate environment.
“Loan growth is still high in double digits,” Rolando Rodriguez, PSBank executive vice president, told reporters.
Consumer loans accounted for 80 percent of its total loan portfolio, consisting mainly of auto and real estate loans.
Rodriguez said the sustained loan growth would support the bank’s profit forecast of P1.1 billion by year-end.
For the first three months, PSBank’s net income grew by 21 percent to P303.73 million as gross loans increased 17 percent with consumer loans expanding by 16 percent.
Despite the weak remittance growth this year, Rodriguez said the demand for housing loans from the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is still high and has not slowed down.
However, the demand for small and medium enterprises (SME) loan started to decline this year, he added.
The PSBank executive said the 175-basis point interest rate reduction by the central bank’s interest rate reduction has no immediate impact in lending rates.
“We reduced our rates by 25 basis points since the start of the year,” while PSBank offers single digit interest rates for the one year loan, Rodriguez said.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) key policy rates currently stand at 4.25 percent for overnight borrowing and 6.25 percent for overnight lending. These rates are used for reference rates in the determination of market rates.
Since December, the BSP has slashed its key rates by 175 basis points to encourage banks to lend more and spur economic growth.
-- Maricel E. Burgonio