THE banking sector in Central Visayas, like the rest of the country, has grown in the first quarter of this year, exhibited by the increasing number of banks operating in the region, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.
For the period, the total number of banks in the region grew from 602 to 622 branch and head offices, the highest in the Visayas. Western Visayas has 423 bank offices, Negros Island Region has 279, and Eastern Visayas has 202.
Nationwide, the number grew from 10,410 in the first quarter of 2015 to 10,800 in the same period this year.
“The banking sector continues to be robust. All our banks have very high capital adequacy ratios (CAR), their pay due ratios are very low and their growth is robust,” said BSP Monetary Board member Alfredo C. Antonio at the sidelines of the the central bank’s awards ceremony and appreciation lunch at the BSP Cebu office yesterday.
Loans to deposit ratio among Central Visayas banks has also increased from 39.5 percent in 2014 to 40.2 percent in 2015.
However, net loan portfolio in the region dropped from 24.3 percent in 2014 to 17.9 percent this year.
In another development, Antonio said the Monetary Board will meet on Thursday to decide if it should change its monetary stance. The official, however, refused to comment about any possible changes in the monetary policy within the year.
In addition, the financial sector has not been significantly affected by China’s slowdown and the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (EU), assured BSP Regional Monetary Affairs Managing Director Iluminada Sicat.
“We have very limited exposure (to the UK) in terms of trade and investments,” she said.
“The development in the UK does not impact (the Philippines) that much. You didn’t see financial markets moving so much. There was a sudden depreciation, but that was just a reaction of the market globally. We’re not only one whose direction in terms of exchange rate moved, but that was not sustained. Exhange rates are now stable,” the BSP official added.
BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo earlier said that the country has strong macroeconomic fundamentals and sufficient foreign exchange reserves should there be any negative effects in the Philippine markets after the Brexit.
BSP awarded yesterday five government and private institutions in Central Visayas in appreciation for their cooperation in the BSP’s statistical undertakings, information needs and advocacy programs. The awards were given to Muramoto Audio-Visual Philippines Inc. for Outstanding Respondent of the Business Expectation Survey for large and medium firms; Phil-Japan Metals and Refined Products Co., Inc. for small firms; the Philippine Statistics Authority 7 as its outstanding partner for reports on regional economic developments of the Philippines; DYAB Cebu as its oustanding regional partner in money demonetization; and the Department of Education Bohol as its oustanding regional partner in implementing BSP’s advocacy on the conduct of public information campaigns.