The double-digit growth of its core lending businesses has enabled Asia United Bank (PSE: AUB) to sustain its robust financial performance in the first three months of the year compared with year-ago levels.
AUB and its subsidiaries, which include the Cavite United Rural Bank (CURB) and the Rural Bank of Angeles in Pampanga, posted a consolidated net income of PhP797.7 million for the first quarter of 2018, 21.3% higher than a year ago. This translated to a Return on Assets of 1.7% and Return on Equity of 12.2% versus year-ago ratios of 1.6% and 11.4%, respectively.
Boosting the group’s bottom line was the 29.4% growth in interest income from loans and receivables and a 42.6% growth in other operating income.
Loans and receivables grew by 29.2% to PhP129.6 billion as of end-March 2018 from PhP100.297 billion a year ago. Propelling the growth were commercial loans and other loan segments such as auto, housing, and salary loans, which all posted double-digit growths. Net interest income increased by 9.1% to PhP1.681 billion during the quarter from PhP1.542 billion.
The group’s total assets expanded by 19.8% to PhP207.4 billion in the first quarter of the year.
Continued expansion of AUB’s branch network, as well as a more intensified deposit-generation campaign for branch banking and other business segments, boosted total deposits by 22.6% to PhP166.5 billion as of March 31 from PhP135.8 billion a year ago.
“We remain confident that we have the momentum to grow the business further as we continue to cater to the needs of corporates and small and medium enterprises. We are taking advantage of our IT innovation to serve our customers better and faster, particularly in our growing consumer lending business,” said AUB President Manuel Gomez.
The 20-year-old bank has been silently revolutionizing banking by leveraging on its enhanced IT platform to improve the banking experience for customers. Since it opened at the height of the Asian financial crisis in 1997, AUB has been making use of technology to differentiate its service and operations.
AUB recently became the first Philippine bank partner of the world’s largest social and mobile app payment giant—WeChat Pay of China. This development enables AUB to seize opportunities from the growing Chinese population in the country, as well as from local merchants catering to their needs.