Euromoney names Security Bank “Philippines’ Best Bank”

P_1_resizeReceiving the award for “Philippines’ Best Bank” from Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2016 last July 14 at Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong was Security Bank President and CEO Alfonso Salcedo, Jr. (center). He was joined by Euromoney editor Clive Horwood (left) and Euromoney Asia editor Chris Wright.

London-based financial publication Euromoney has named Security Bank Corporation “Philippines’ Best Bank” for 2016.

In the recently concluded Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2016 held on July 14 at Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong, Security Bank was lauded for its superior financial results and innovative banking practices.

Launched in 1992, the Euromoney Awards for Excellence were the first of their kind in the global financial publishing industry and have been running for 25 years, with more countries added through the years.  The Euromoney Best Bank Awards were traditionally awarded to the respective countries’ largest banks with dominant market shares excelling in key businesses. Over the past six years, only the top two biggest Philippine universal banks have won this coveted award.

This year, Euromoney made fundamental changes to its awards to recognize profound changes in the global banking industry. Euromoney states, “The main purposes of these changes are: to move away from awards based on individual product categories where other determinants of status and ability are readily available; to focus on banks/investment banks that can demonstrate an ability to deliver the different parts of their firms to meet clients’ needs and adapt to market and regulatory conditions, and to consider candidates for these awards that might not be global in scale, but are truly world class in the way they are run and in the services they deliver to clients.” Euromoney stated its belief that these changes will ensure that Euromoney’s Awards remain the hardest to win, and the most sought-after, in the global banking industry.

Below is the excerpt from the July 2016 issue of Euromoney:

EUROMONEY AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE

For years, the best bank in The Philippines award has been the preserve of BDO Unibank, which remains the biggest and in many respects the best. Security Bank, by contrast, is a mid-size bank, less than a quarter of BDO’s market cap and revenue and delivering a third of its profitability. It has just 5% of the market in terms of loans, assets and deposits.

A closer look at numbers other than scale paints a more interesting picture.

Security Bank beats BDO on return on equity, return on assets, cost/income ratio, NPLs and NPL coverage. In most of those metrics, it leads the whole industry.

Is this just a case of growth off a low base? It’s true that Security Bank’s 24% loan growth in 2015, double the overall industry, and its 68% growth in consumer loans due to home and auto loans and credit card receivables, can’t be expected to be maintained as the bank gets bigger. But these are the fruits of a multi-year re-invention, now led by CEO and president Alfonso Salcedo, and epitomized by its BetterBanking rebrand in the retail business. The bank picks its spots, focuses and aims to be the best at what it does rather than the biggest. And it takes pride in not being part of a conglomerate (though it is owned by the Dy family).

One big investor that likes what it sees is Japan’s Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, which struck a strategic partnership with the Philippine lender in January and put in Ps36.9 billion ($803 million) of investment on April 1. It gives Security Bank capital, long-term funding, and a considerable show of faith, as well as a way in to Japanese corporates with banking needs in the Philippines. No foreign investor has ever made such a big equity investment in a Philippine bank.

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