Banking Industry Stable, Profitability Improving

Manila Bulletin, September 9, 2003 | Go to article overview

Banking Industry Stable, Profitability Improving


Byline: FIL C. SIONIL

The domestic banking industry remains stable amidst the controversy hounding the system, the latest of which is the apparent failure of some institutions to follow the know your customer dictum of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which led to the opening of the Jose Pidal account.

BSP Governor Rafael Carlos B. Buenaventura brushed aside these little irritants, stressing that banks profitability was improving.

The banking system is in good shape. There has been no heavy withdrawals, Buenaventura assured in the midst of mounting concerns that the controversial Jose Pidal account, which has polarized the political leadership, has impacted negatively on the banking system.

As a proof of the soundness of the domestic banking industry, Buenaventura cited the return to profitability of some of the financial institutions.

The Philippine National Bank (PNB) could fall under this category ascribed by the BSP Chief. Prior to its five-year rehabilitation program, PNB has been bleeding financially due to the deterioration in its loan quality, causing its non-performing loans (NPLs) to jump to above 50 percent.

But this situation was arrested sometime in May last year with the start of its rehab program plus the debt-to-equity conversion program of the national government and the disposition of its billions of pesos worth of non-performing assets (NPAs) through the enactment of the special purpose vehicle (SPV) law. …

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