Diokno asks thrift banks to leverage advantages

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno

THRIFT banks are “strategically positioned” to be catalysts of financial inclusion, especially after maintaining a foothold in the market amid disruptions caused by the global health crisis, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor said.

In his keynote speech at the Chamber of Thrift Banks (CTB) virtual convention last Tuesday, BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said thrift banks must leverage their extensive network to reach more people even during the pandemic.

“Amid the pandemic, the thrift banking industry remained sound and stable as shown by sustained growth in assets and deposits, strong capital position, adequate liquidity buffers and profitable operations,” the governor said.

As of end-August this year, the thrift banking industry has 2,744 offices spread in different regions throughout the country.

Diokno added that the sector’s total assets registered at P1.2 trillion as of end-July, posting a 6.8 percent year-on-year growth rate.

Meanwhile, deposit liabilities in the same period grew by 7.9 percent. Diokno said higher deposit liabilities in the sector is “highly indicative of the public’s continued trust and confidence in the industry.”

The risk-based capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of the industry stood at 18.8 percent as of end-June 2021. This is well above the minimum thresholds set by the BSP at 10 percent and the Bank for International Settlements at 8 percent. The minimum liquidity ratio of the industry was 36.5 percent as of end-June 2021, also surpassing the 16 percent minimum standard set by the BSP.

Net income registered at P6.6 billion in the six-month period ending June 2021, higher by 15.3 percent compared to last year’s level.

“We are optimistic that the thrift banking industry is well-equipped to withstand the risks posed by the Covid-19 crisis,” Diokno said.

“Recovery in the country’s macroeconomy and the industry’s financial performance will serve as a strong foundation for thrift banks in charting their course under the new economy,” he added.

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