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Union Bank’s 4-month profit up 28%

Union Bank’s 4-month profit up 28%

MANILA: Aboitiz-led Union Bank of the Philippines grew its net profit in the first four months by 28.1 percent year-on-year to P2.4 billion driven by a double-digit expansion in interest income and fee-based earnings.

In a press briefing after UnionBank’s stockholders meeting on Friday, bank president Edwin Bautista said growth had been fastest on the consumer side where loan spreads are bigger. “That’s why even our margins are much bigger,” he said.

Net interest income grew by 34.6 percent year-on-year while fee-based earnings rose by 12.1 percent. Treasury earnings were down from last year.

Bautista said Union Bank, which used to have one of the lowest loan to deposit ratios, had anticipated that the opportunities for securities trading gain would be limited.

About 45 percent of core earnings last year came from the consumer business, 30 percent from corporate clients and 25 percent from the middle market or small and medium enterprises.

Bautista said the increase in the bank’s core business was anchored on its wholesale customer acquisition strategy, which harnesses corporate and institutional relationships. Innovation is likewise seen crucial to cope with evolving customer expectations.

“With the ultimate objective of customer centricity, providing our brand of unique customer experience, our mandate is to transform into a digital bank in order to adapt to these shifts in customer behavior,” Bautista said.

For UnionBank, digital transformation means giving customers the ability to do banking 24/7 alongside reliable and straight-through processing of transactions.