Listed banks report 32% dip in profits

Listed banks report 32% dip in profits

The average of 10 SET-listed commercial banks and subsidiaries is a 32% decline in combined net profit based on unaudited financial statements for 2020, largely attributed to higher loan-loss reserves.

Aggregate net profit stood at 138 billion baht last year. The double-digit year-on-year reduction in combined net profit was mainly due to higher loan-loss reserves allocated in preparation for economic uncertainties from the Covid-19 impact.

Bangkok Bank (BBL) reported the biggest decrease in net profit, tumbling by 52% year-on-year to 17.2 billion baht, as the bank allocated a substantial amount of expected credit losses (ECLs) as a buffer against bad debts.

BBL set aside ECLs valued at 31.2 billion baht in 2020, resulting in a higher loan coverage ratio at 182%.

The bank's capital adequacy ratio (CAR) increased to 18.3%, of which 15.7% was tier-1 capital base.

BBL acquired a 98.7% stake in PT Bank Permata Tbk in Indonesia last year, which subsequently drove up its net interest income to 77 billion baht, an increase of 8.4% year-on-year, although there was a 33.5% decrease in non-interest income.

State-owned Krungthai Bank (KTB) set aside the highest amount of ECLs among its peers at 44.9 billion baht in 2020, up 88.6% year-on-year.

KTB's net profit was registered at 16.7 billion baht, down 42.9% year-on-year, following higher loan-loss provisions. This led to a higher loan coverage ratio of 147% as of December 2020, from 131% at year-end 2019.

The bank's tier-1 capital and total capital stood at 15.4% and 18.8%, respectively, KTB president Payong Srivanich said in a statement.

Kasikornbank posted the highest net profit last year at 29.5 billion baht, while TMB-Thanachart Bank (TMB-TBank) was the only SET-listed bank that booked an increase in net profit, tallying 2.9 billion baht or a 40% gain in 2020 compared with the previous year, in part because of a merger between TMB and TBank.

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn is a major shareholder of Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), holding a 23.4% stake.

SCB reported a net profit of 27.2 billion baht in 2020, down 32.7% year-on-year, after setting aside ECLs of 46.6 billion.

SCB's gross non-performing loan (NPL) ratio rose to 3.7% at year-end 2020 from 3.4% in 2019, while the bank's NPL coverage ratio also increased to 141%, with a strong CAR ratio at 28.2%.

SCB chief executive Arthid Nanthawithaya said the bank will continue to help customers with debt restructuring this year.

Since the start of the pandemic, the bank has assisted more than 1 million customers by offering a variety of targeted financial relief programmes.

"Customers successfully graduated from the debt relief programme in the second half of 2020," said Mr Arthid.

"Loans under the relief programme declined significantly to 402 billion baht or 18% of total loans at the end of the year."

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