MANILA– Non-performing loans or bad loans are "under control" and are better than initial expectations as consumers adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bank of the Philippine Islands president and CEO Jose Teodoro Limcaoco said Wednesday.
For BPI, its NPL level is unlikely to exceed 4 percent, Limcaoco told ANC.
"A year ago we thought it could go as high as 7 percent. That’s the good news. But I guess the people have been able to adjust to the changing times and fairly low interest rates," he said.
"What is key really, what we’re seeing is that NPL is under control. At the start of the pandemic, all the bankers were fairly worried that we will get high levels," he added.
Deposits, meanwhile, "continue to grow," Limcaoco said, citing monetary policies of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Reserve requirement for banks was reduced last year while the benchmark interest rate was kept at its lowest level of 2 percent.
Limcaoco said the bank is also ramping up its digital offering as the pandemic drove up digital transactions.
He said BPI is also working with fintech app GCash. It has also made improvements on its mobile banking app which now allows users to open bank accounts on the platform, he said.
The BSP earlier said banks in the country are strong enough to withstand bad loans due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.