Thrift banking industry remains resilient

The thrift banking industry remains stable and resilient with robust capitalization and liquidity, improving asset quality, and sustained financing of households, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and the agri-agra sector.

“Thrift banks (TBs) have remained resilient and supportive of the country’s economic recovery,” according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno.

TBs posted a capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of 19.3 percent at end-September 2021, well-above the BSP’s 10 percent minimum requirement. The CAR was also higher than the 17.5 percent recorded a year earlier.

The liquidity ratios of TBs are also well above minimum thresholds, indicating a strong position to support the credit requirements of clients. At end-February 2022, the liquidity coverage ratio of TBs that are subsidiaries of universal/commercial banks reached 167 percent, while the minimum liquidity ratio of stand-alone TBs stood at 37.3 percent as of end-January 2022.

Moreover, the industry’s loan quality has improved as the level of non-performing loans (NPLs) declined since September 2021. In February 2022, the ratio of the TBs’ NPLs against their total loans settled at 8.9 percent.

The industry’s assets reached P872.8 billion at end-February 2022. This figure is lower than the P1.1 trillion level recorded a year ago, due to a merger of bank operations of a leading subsidiary TB with its parent bank.

Nonetheless, the industry sustained its deployment of funds for household consumption and productive activities.

At end-February 2022, the industry recorded P209.8 billion in loans for household consumption, or 40.8 percent of the TBs’ total loans of P514 billion during the period. This was followed by loans for production sectors, namely, real estate (P102.3 billion) and wholesale and retail trade sectors (P68.4 billion). Meanwhile, loans of the TB industry to MSMEs and the agri-agra sector stood at P61.3 billion and P22 billion, respectively, as of the period.

TBs also remained profitable amid subdued economic activity in 2021 as the industry’s net profit improved by 30 percent year-on-year to P12.8 billion at end-December 2021.