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BPI delivers stellar  performance in 2023

Speaking Out

By Ignacio R. Bunye 

During the Annual Stockholders Meeting of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)  held  on April 23 at Fairmont Hotel, Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala  (JAZA)  highlighted BPI’s strong financial performance, its various regulatory recognitions, its commitment to customer experience, corporate responsibility, and dedication to sustainable banking practices,  positioning BPI  for continued growth and success. 

JAZA reported that BPI achieved its highest full-year net income of P51.7 billion in 2023, marking a significant increase of 30.5% from the previous year. This growth was driven by record revenues, lower provisions, and increased market share in key businesses.

BPI’s client base grew by 18% in 2023, reaching 11.0 million. A significant portion of these clients, 7.0 million, are enrolled in digital platforms, reflecting the bank’s focus on digitalization and customer engagement.

Total revenues surged by 16.7% to P138.3 billion, with net interest income increasing by 22.7% to P104.4 billion. Non-interest income also grew, supported by record trading income gains.

Despite some declines in fee income, key business segments such as credit cards, wealth management, and bancassurance experienced notable growth momentum. These gains were achieved through an increase in active customer base, successful digital acquisitions, and strategic launches.

JAZA added that BPI maintained a focus on prudent risk management despite expanding portfolios. Non-performing loan (NPL) ratios were closely monitored, with provisions deemed more than adequate. Credit costs decreased, reflecting confidence in macro fundamentals and risk management capabilities.

BPI’s capital position strengthened in 2023, supported by strong income generation. Total equity reached P357.2 billion, with robust Common Equity Tier 1 Ratio and Capital Adequacy Ratio exceeding regulatory requirements. Record capital distributions were made, with a variable dividend amount based on a percentage of the previous year’s income.

BPI demonstrated consistent improvement in returns, with Return on Equity (ROE) at 15.35% and Return on Assets (ROA) at 1.93% in 2023. Earnings per share (EPS) increased by 24.1% compared to the previous year.

At year’s end 2023, BPI’s share price closed 10.9% higher at PHP 103.80, reflecting market recognition of its strong operating results. It remains the most valued among listed banks in terms of price-to-book and the country’s second-largest bank by market capitalization.

JAZA also reported that the merger with Robinsons Bank Corporation officially took effect on January 1st, providing BPI with exciting opportunities to collaborate across the Gokongwei Group’s ecosystem and expand its range of products and services through an expanded branch network.

JAZA proudly shared with shareholders   the various awards and recognitions bestowed on  BPI, to wit: 

-BPI achieved the highest Net Promoter Score (NPS) among all banks in the Philippines for 2023, reflecting its renewed focus on customer experience.

– BPI was  recognized by Euromoney as the “Best Bank in the Philippines,” citing its profitability numbers that grew the fastest among its  peers and with metrics beating the industry average. This comes three years after Euromoney cited the Bank for the same award at the height of the pandemic. JAZA sees  this as a strong testament to BPI’s resilience and strong fundamentals, providing it with a solid platform for a more ambitious future.

-BPI is esteemed by regulators for its resiliency to various risks, robust risk management framework, strong capital position, steady profitability, ample liquidity, and governance support.

-BPI holds a credit rating equivalent to the Philippine government at BBB+ by S&P Global Ratings, maintained since 2019. Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings also reaffirmed their investment grade credit ratings. Fitch upgraded its Outlook on BPI from Negative to Stable, aligning with the Philippine sovereign outlook.

-BPI was named Asia’s 2023 Best Bank for Corporate Responsibility, the first Philippine bank to win this accolade in the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2023. Recognition was for initiatives such as the FinEd Unboxed financial education platform, aimed at improving financial literacy among various communities.

-BPI received 14 prestigious Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) awards in 2023, affirming its exceptional dedication to sustainable banking practices. The awards include Best Sustainable Bank and Biggest ESG Impact in the Philippines.

(To be continued next week with BPI President and CEO TG Limcaoco’s report on  BPI’s strategic direction moving forward.)

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