RCBC’s housing loan book hits P59.8b in H1

The housing loan portfolio of Yuchengco-led Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) expanded by almost a double-digit level in the first half of the year as year-on-year bookings surged 61 percent.

RCBC consumer lending group head Ramil De Villa said the bank’s housing look book reached P59.8 billion from January to June this year from a year ago level of P54.8 billion.

De Villa said overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) accounted for 70 percent of RCBC’s housing loan portfolio, while the remaining 30 percent came from domestic borrowers.

“OFWs returned to work abroad because of the vaccination program and easing restriction here and their respective host countries. So that allowed the bank to started drawing down (from the loans),” De Villa said.

Due to the impact of the global health crisis, the listed bank remained sensitive to the challenges of its borrowers as it offered a moratorium wherein the borrowers could resume payment after six months, a repackaging of amortization, or even a restructuring of payments and terms under its COVID-19 Assistance Recovery Enhancement (CARE) program.

As the National Capital Region and nearby provinces (NCR Plus) reverted back to general community quarantine after the resurgence of COVID-19 infections, construction operations resumed leading to a pick up in economic activities.

Furthermore, the government’s vaccination program allowed more workers to return to work and earn more.

Instead of foreclosing housing loans, the Yuchencgo-led bank offered various safety packages including the CARE program.

RCBC aims to trim its non-performing housing loans to a range of six to seven percent this year after swelling to 10 percent last year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the capacity of borrowers to pay their debts.

With the opening of government agencies and the courts to process necessary housing requirements, annotate and register mortgages, De Villa said RCBC is confident that the non-performing housing loans would be reduced to a range of six to seven percent this year.

“We are confident that we will end up by six to seven percent on home loans by the end of the year,” De Villa added.

Most banks have lowered their lending rates and offered a slew of restructuring and re-pricing programs for their borrowers. They are also hurdling challenges in the processing of loan applications to better help clients get their documentary approvals.

RCBC offers a competitive interest rate of six to 6.5 percent for newly booked home loans.

Consumer loans accounted for about 20 percent of the bank’s total loan portfolio. About 57.1 percent or P60.1 billion are housing loans, followed by auto loans with 41.5 percent or P43.7 billion, and personal loans with 1.4 percent or P1.4 billion.