Philippine Bank of Communications (PBCOM) announced its exceptional financial performance for year ending December 2021, with a consolidated net income of P1.57B, the highest since the entry of the Lucio Co Group in 2014.

The increase in net income, 34.6% higher versus comparable period in 2020, came on the back of improved performance of its core businesses and normalized provision for credit losses. This translated to a return in equity of 11.78% in 2021 from 9.79% in 2020, while return on assets was at 1.49% from 1.15%.

Net interest income increased by 8.1% to P4.24B. The Bank’s loans and receivables showed healthy growth, expanding by 10.2% to P63.5B, which is higher than the industry growth of 4.9%. The Bank’s deposit volume grew by 3.8% led by a 30% or P12.0B growth in low interest bearing deposit base. The increase in low cost deposits, which now represents 60.4% of the deposit mix, helped cushion the impact of a low interest rate environment with net interest margin at 4.83%, an improvement of 20 basis points from 2020. Non-interest income showed a decline largely due to trading and rental income.

Patricia May T. Siy, President and CEO, quoted, “The Bank’s focus on core businesses, such as corporate lending and generation of low-cost deposits, has provided the Bank a steady income despite market uncertainties. We likewise believe that we have our non-performing loans under control as shown by reduced requirements for provisioning.”

Total Assets reached P109.23B in 2021, an increase of P7.99B or 7.9% while Capital strengthened by P1.65B to P14.18B. PBCOM’s Common Equity Tier 1 and Capital Adequacy Ratios were at 15.58% and 18.18%, respectively, in excess of the required regulatory ratios.

In February 2022, PBCOM announced that it has secured the BSP’s approval to upgrade its license to a Universal Banking License. The license upgrade allows PBCOM to pursue its plans to broaden its product and service offerings. PBCOM Chairman, Eric O. Recto, stated, “We are proud and thankful for this privilege to become a Universal Bank. Our steady growth the past years that began with the entry of the Lucio Co Group has been noteworthy. We now have a solid capital base from which we can expand our banking services in order to serve the needs of our valued customers. We, the Shareholders and Management of PBCOM, are all excited about this new chapter in our history.”

Founded in 1939, PBCOM has its roots in Binondo, Manila and now operates 95 branches across the country. It has complemented its branch network with its digital corporate cash management services (PBCOM POP-Business), online and mobile banking (PBCOM POP-Personal), and its cloud-based digital accounts via the PBCOMobile app.

The entry of Mr. Lucio L. Co as the Bank’s strategic investor in 2014 has put PBCOM in a unique position for growth, leveraging on the ecosystem of the Puregold Group. The Bank is focused on building its capabilities in order to serve the banking needs of the group’s suppliers, trade partners, service providers and loyal customers.

With Chairman of the Board, Mr. Eric O. Recto and President and CEO, Ms. Patricia May T. Siy at the helm, the Bank continues to expand its services to cater to new markets, striving always to provide customer satisfaction through innovative financial solutions and distinctive customer service.