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UnionBank reports higher income as digital initiatives gain traction

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

(Photo from UnionBank)

Union Bank of the Philippines said Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, that its net income for the first nine months of the year grew by 26% year-on-year (YoY) as digital initiatives gained traction.

In a disclosure, the Aboitiz-led bank reported a net income of P10.7 billion on account of a 9% increase in revenues. This translated to a return on equity of 13.6%.

UnionBank president and CEO Edwin R. Bautista said he believed the worst of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is over.

“With our current momentum and the reopening of the economy, we are confident that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. We will be entering 2022 with a solid base from where we can resume our pre-pandemic growth trajectories,” Bautista said.

The bank said its registered digital users increased to 3.6 million as of end-September 2021, 2.4x higher than the number in the same period last year.

UBX also ramped up onboarding of customers. As of September 2021, about 180,000 micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and channel partners have signed up across its platforms, 46% higher than the same period in 2020.

UnionDigital, UnionBank’s digital bank, will be launched in 2022. It holds one of six licenses granted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

In its statement, UnionBank said its net interest income increased 3% to P22 billion on the back of higher margins at 4.6% compared to 4.5% a year ago. Lower funding costs coming from the robust growth of current and savings accounts (CASA) deposits supported margin growth.

Non-interest income rose 22% to P12.6 billion due to strong trading gains in the first half of the year, higher foreign exchange income, and increased fees and commissions.

Loan loss provisions booked were lower by 45% at P4.1 billion amid the continued stabilization of non-performing loans. NPL ratio was posted at 4.9% compared to 5.1% as of yearend 2020.

As of end-September 2021, total assets stood at P767.8 billion while total loans were at P341.5 billion, 4% lower given the subdued demand for corporate loans. Total CASA deposits sustained its record growth of 26% to P318.3 billion. (Ventures Cebu)

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