• Banks fewer but resources rise 8.9% to P10.3 trillion

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    The number of banking institutions in the country dropped in the last quarter of 2013 due to consolidations and the exit of weaker players, but their total resources rose 8.9 percent to P10.3 trillion due to growth in loans, securities and non-financial assets, data from the central bank showed.

    In its Report on Economic and Financial Developments for the fourth quarter of 2013, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the number of banking institutions, in terms of head offices, fell to 673 as of end-December 2013 from 676 in the preceding quarter and 696 a year earlier.

    These institutions had a combined 36 universal and commercial banks, 71 thrift banks, and 566 rural banks.

    The total resources of the banking system grew to P10.3 trillion as of the end of December from P9.5 trillion in the preceding quarter and from P8.4 trillion a year earlier.

    “The increase could be traced to the growth in loans, securities and other shares and non-financial assets. U/KBs (universal and commercial banks) accounted for more than 90 percent of the total resources of the banking system,” it said.

    Savings and time deposits remained as the primary sources of funds for the banks.

    Banks’ total deposits as of end-December amounted to P6.1 trillion, or 36.2 percent higher than the year-ago level of P4.4 trillion.

    Savings deposits registered 32.8-percent growth and continued to account for nearly half of the funding base of banks, while demand deposits expanded 34.1 percent year-on-year by and time deposits increased 44.2 percent from the level posted a year earlier.

    The BSP attributed the rapid growth of savings and time deposits to the shift of depositors’ investments from the BSP’s special deposit account (SDA) facility to bank deposits as a result of the fine-tuning of access of banks and trust departments/entities to the BSP SDA facility.

    SDA is a monetary facility instrument under the BSP that was made available to banks to manage excess domestic liquidity in the financial system.

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