Money

Getting weak in the knees: Veloso drags PNB to worst bad loan rate among Big 4 banks

Two years after bringing his talent to bilyonaryo Lucio Tan’s bank, Jose Arnulfo “Wick” Veloso has steered Philippine National Bank as the worst in some of the key performance categories among the country’s Big 4 banks.

PNB registered the biggest jump in nonperforming loans during the first six months of the year – up by 201 percent to P29.58 billion from only P9.8 billion during the same period last year.

PNB’s steep rise in NPLs far exceeded BDO (up 96 percent to P40.9 billion), Bank of the Philippine Islands ((up 3.2 percent to P12.9 billion), and Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (up 8.8 percent to P13.1 billion).

Stacked against its total loan portfolio, PNB has the biggest percentage of bad loans among the Top 4 banks.

PNB’s NPL ratio is pegged at 4.65 percent in the first half of 2020, nearly triple its 1.73 NPL ratio in the first half of 2019.

In contrast, PNB’s peers posted more benign rates – BDO with 1.82 percent, BPI with 1.03 percent and Metrobank with 1.12 percent.

Despite having the worst NPL, PNB has the least cover among its fellow big banks: 78 percent or just half of the 156 percent average cover of BDO, BPI and Metrobank.

When he took over in November 2018, Veloso told his team to shoot for the stars because it would be “an injustice” to Tan if they only aimed for the moon. The former hot shot HSBC executive probably never thought about crash landing in less than two years of his tenure.

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