BPI anticipates increased credit growth

BPI expects robust credit growth this year

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is expecting a strong increase in credit this year with the country’s economic expansion and the proposed interest rate cuts by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

According to Eric Luchangco, the chief finance and sustainability officer of BPI, the Ayala-led bank is shifting its focus towards consumer mix. He mentioned that the share of corporate versus consumer in its borrowing mix has declined to about the mid 70 percent from the high of 70 percent.

“We’re looking for that to continue to grow over time. Consumer and SME (small and medium enterprises), we’re looking to continue to grow. And then we think there’s a lot of untapped opportunities for us on the consumer and SME side,” he added.

Luchangco also said that the bank expects its overall loan book to be stronger this year due to customer optimism, as well as the overall GDP growth perspective.

Despite a slowdown in GDP growth in 2023, the Philippines still emerged as the fastest-growing economy in the region. BPI’s loan book went up by 10.5 percent to P1.9 trillion in 2023 from P1.7 trillion in 2022 due to strong growth across all portfolios.

Luchangco also expects the BSP to start cutting interest rates in the second half of the year as inflation continues to ease after it breached the central bank’s two to four percent target range for 20 straight months.

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