EastWest Bank eyes record profit

MANILA, Philippines - Gotianun-owned EastWest Banking Corp. is eyeing a record P1-billion net income this year as it registered earnings last year of "over P500 million.

EastWest Bank president, Antonio C. Moncupa Jr. said the critical ingredients to breaking into the P1-billion earnings milestone is by returning to "good old-fashioned banking."
"The key drivers in 2010 will be deposit gathering, mortgage lending, retail banking and corporate banking." Moncupa said.

He pointed out EastWest Bank will stay clear of complex derivatives and the remittance business. "We want to give the best service to our clients, and we will make use of technology to make it simple and convinient to them."

By the end of the first semester this year, the bank will have 106 operational branches and will apply for five new branch licenses. The target is to reach 115 by the end of the year.

"We wil also submit, with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), our application for a universal banking license also within the first semester of the year," the bank executive added.

EastWest Bank has a capital base of P8 billion, or P3 billion more than the minimum requirement by the BSP for a universal bank license.

"We feel that most of the BSP requirements can easily be fulfilled within the required period," Moncupa added.

EastWest Bank is presently the sixth largest credit card issuer and also the sixth largest in auto loans portfolio.

It acquired last year AIG Philam Savings Bank, Philam Auto Finance and Leasing Inc. and PFL Holdings Inc. to expand its physical assets, including a branch network. But most of all, it was able to acquire the credit card business of the American International Group (AIG) in the Philippines.

"We are still open to make an acquisition if there is an opportunity." Moncupa added.


Source: PhilStar.com

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