Tuesday, October 27, 2020

BDO Regains Momentum in 3Q 2020

BDO Unibank, Inc. (BDO) posted P12.3 billion in net income in the 3Q 2020 despite
the continuing impact of the pandemic. This brings earnings for the first nine months
of the year to P16.6 billion, a decline of 48% from the same period last year, due to
the upfront provisions booked in 2Q 2020 in anticipation of potential delinquencies
due to the pandemic.

Despite BDO’s promising results, the Bank recognizes that the pandemic difficulties
still lie ahead. The delinquency problem on loans have not yet peaked, interest rate
caps on credit cards will be instituted soon and there are added costs in doing
business as a result of necessary precautions inherent in the Bank’s operations. All
of these and more are seen to put pressure on the Bank’s earnings.

Loans rose at a more tempered 6 per cent to P2.2 trillion, driven by corporate and
consumer accounts. The Bank remained supportive of its borrowing clients, ensuring
continued access to their credit facilities to help them manage their funding
requirements during these challenging times, notwithstanding loan payment
deferments under Bayanihan I and II.

Asset quality remained stable, with gross non-performing loans (NPL) ratio at 1.97
per cent. Meanwhile, the NPL cover settled at 138 per cent. Total provisions for 9M
2020 amounted to P23.8 billion, inclusive of the pre-emptive provisions in 2Q 2020.

Total deposits grew to P2.6 trillion, driven by the faster growth in Current
Account/Savings Account (CASA) deposits, with almost all of the Bank’s branches
operational since 2Q 2020.The Bank’s CASA ratio climbed to a new high of 79 per
cent. Net interest income (NII) went up by 13 per cent year-on-year to P99.8 billion.

Non-interest income settled at P36.8 billion, led by fee-based income and insurance
premiums with P20.2 billion and P10.9 billion, respectively. Wealth management
remained resilient with trust volume and fees sustaining steady growth despite soft
market conditions. However, some of the Bank’s businesses, specifically those that
rely on face-to-face interaction, are still gradually rebuilding their volumes.

Operating expenses declined by 3 per cent to P83.6 billion on lower volume-related

The Bank’s balance sheet remains solid with a capital base of P378.6 billion. Capital
Adequacy Ratio (CAR) and Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio were at 14.3 per
cent and 13.2 per cent, respectively, remaining well above regulatory minimum.

BDO believes that its strong business franchise and robust balance sheet place the
Bank in a good position to leverage on a post-pandemic economic recovery.

About BDO
BDO is a full-service universal bank which provides a wide range of corporate and retail
banking services. These services include traditional loan and deposit products, as well as
treasury, trust banking, investment banking, private banking, rural banking, cash
management, leasing and finance, remittance, insurance, retail cash cards and credit card
BDO has the country’s largest distribution network, with over 1,400 consolidated operating
branches and more than 4,400 ATMs nationwide. It also has 16 international offices
(including full-service branches in Hong Kong and Singapore) in Asia, Europe, North
America and the Middle East.
BDO ranked as the largest bank in terms of total assets, loans, deposits and trust funds
under management based on published statements of condition as of June 30, 2020. For
more information, please visit www.bdo.com.ph.

Monday, October 26, 2020

BDO Warns Against Scam Mobile Device Takeover Attempts

BDO Unibank, Inc. alerts clients to be cautious about attempts by scammers to mimic official banking communications. Using the name and logo of the bank, these scams claim to be legitimate security notices asking for personal information from customers, which the scammers can then use to access and steal money from online bank accounts. BDO reiterates that it would never send text messages or e-mails asking for personal information from customers.

A recent modus finds scammers tricking clients into initiating BDO’s “Add Device” security alert, which is part of the bank’s two-factor authentication process to protect clients from unauthorized transactions. When account holders reply “Add Device” to this bank-sent text message, scammers get access to their online bank account.

BDO reminds account holders: “Only add trusted devices to your digital banking app. Do not reply to Add Device text messages if you did not make an Add Device request.” For added protection, the bank advises clients to limit permission to just one device.

How “mobile device takeover” scam works

The modus operandi starts with an email or text message that urges clients to click on a link to verify their accounts and avoid deactivation. Scammers often get clients’ data from scraping the internet for email addresses and mobile numbers. BDO reminds clients to be prudent when sharing personal information online.

Worried of the potential inconvenience, many clients click on the link, which prompts a fake website to open. Clients “log in” the fake website with their online bank account username and password. Scammers get their victims’ login details from the fake website and key these in the mobile app.

As a security protocol, BDO sends a text message to the client’s registered mobile number in case an unknown or new device is being used to access his or her online banking account. The alert asks the client to reply “Add Device” to get a One-Time PIN (OTP) to register the known and trusted mobile device. 

Deceived by the scammers’ email, some clients reply “Add Device” to this prompt, thinking it will reactivate their “deactivated” online bank account.

BDO reassures clients that it will never ask clients to verify their bank accounts via email or a text message, or ask them to click on links to do so. The bank advises account holders to ignore or send these messages to ReportPhish@bdo.com.ph.

Report unauthorized transactions to BDO

If clients mistakenly register the scammers’ device, scammers will then send money from their victims’ account to theirs. When a fund transfer is successful, the bank sends a confirmation email to clients’ registered email address.

If they receive confirmation emails about transactions they didn’t do, BDO advises clients to immediately report it to its Customer Care Hotline at 8631-8000. They may also reach out by logging in Messenger and looking for BDO Customer Care with the blue verified checkmark from Facebook.

Again, never share OTPs

Scammers obtain their victims’ OTPs through the fake website. OTPs add another layer of protection for online banking. As the last part of the bank’s two-factor authentication process, the unique six-digit numbers register a mobile number to BDO Online Banking and confirm an online transaction. They can be used once and only within a short span of time.

BDO reminds clients not to give their bank account login information, such as username, password, and OTPs to protect their online bank accounts from theft.

About BDO Unibank, Inc.

BDO UNIBANK is a full-service universal bank which provides a wide range of corporate and retail banking services.  These services include traditional loan and deposit products, as well as treasury, trust and investments, investment banking, private banking, rural banking, cash management, leasing and finance, remittance, insurance, retail cash cards, credit card services and stock brokerage services.  

BDO has one of the largest distribution networks, with more than 1,400 operating branches and over 4,400 ATMs nationwide.  It also has full-service branches in Hong Kong and Singapore as well as 13 overseas remittance and representative offices in Asia, Europe, North America and the Middle East.

BDO ranked as the largest bank in terms of total assets, loans, deposits and trust funds under management based on published statements of condition as of June 30, 2020. For more information, please visit www.bdo.com.ph.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Bouncing back with BDO Cash Agad


Entrepreneurs and workers in small and medium-sized enterprises are the hardest hit by the economic disruption caused by the pandemic. There are almost 1 million MSMEs in the country, and data from the Department of Trade and Industry showed that their businesses were closed by more than 50 percent of this amount, or around 525,000. This has left millions of unemployed Filipinos.

On the macro level, the Asian Development Bank announced that the Philippine economy had crashed in May or June and that, for the rest of the year, economic contraction is expected at 7.3% by the end of 2020. Recovery is projected to occur by 2021, when the pandemic is expected to be contained and the economy is expected to recover by 6.5 per cent.

Cash Agad Partner Agent

Even with the prevailing economic downturn, the country has seen signs of a gradual recovery , especially in some small and medium-sized enterprises/MSMEs.

One of them is Krystal Bantic of Quirino province in the Cagayan Valley region. Krystal runs a grocery store in her town and she became a Cash Agad partner agent last year. 

Krystal Bantic, owner of Ivee’s Sari Sari Store and a Cash Agad partner agent in Quirino, Cagayan Valley facilitating a withdrawal transaction.

Cash Agad is a service provided by BDO to far-flung and unbanked communities where residents have little to no access to bank services. Many faraway places in the country do not have banks or ATMs where residents may conveniently get cash. This is due to several reasons.

It could be that communities are located in distant islands where motorized boats are the only means of transportation. Some towns and barrios are located in mountainous or hilly areas with rocky and uneven terrain. Others are separated by sheer hundreds of kilometers from urban areas and have no concrete roads nor highways. All of these factors and more prevent banks from building and maintaining physical branch offices in these faraway towns.

The Cash Agad service provides a simple, elegant, and practical solution to all that. By partnering with stores and shops already established in the community, BDO turns them into community-based ATM terminals. The shop owner receives a POS terminal for use in transacting locally-issued ATM cards, whether debit or prepaid and facilitates basic transactions like cash withdrawals and balance inquiries.

Best of all, Cash Agad accepts transactions using ATM cards from different local banks and non-bank financial institutions in the Philippines, not only those from BDO. It's really a service that benefits entire communities.

According to Krystal, she actually had few customers availing of Cash Agad in her grocery store in the year before the pandemic struck. This was because at that time, people were used to traveling all the way to Candon City in Ilocos Sur province, which is more than four hours away from Quirino, in order to go to banks and ATMs, enjoy fast food restaurants, and buy essential goods.

"People would make the trip to Candon even though it's quite far because it was a mix of both business and leisure for them. Also, goods are priced lower in Candon because over here in Quirino our shops are simply getting our goods from there as well," said Krystal.

The trip to Candon is quite far and the transport available are passenger vans. It takes more than four hours across 289 kilometers. The fare costs at least 200 pesos and even more if a person was also loading some baggage in the van for the trip. When going to Candon, residents of Quirino would have to allot an entire day and at least four hundred pesos for a two-way trip. They would spend more if they included food expenses.

From lockdown to opportunity
The pandemic caused subsequent lockdowns and quarantines which prevented people from leaving Quirino as they were used to. This meant that their usual access to cash (banks and ATMs) and goods in Candon was closed off. But fortunately, Krystal and her Cash Agad kiosk at her grocery store was available.

"Grabe po, noong nagka-lockdown dito sa amin. None of us could leave. The local government ordered all transportation to stop. No one was allowed to go out. People had nowhere else to go to get needed cash to spend for food and other basic needs. So more and more people come to my store not only to withdraw cash but also to buy essential goods," said Krystal.

Krystal faced her own challenges as a Cash Agad partner agent. She was also covered by the travel ban so she could not easily replenish the cash reserves meant for Cash Agad withdrawals. She was able to solve this by either renting a private vehicle to go to the BDO branch in Candon to get cash or she would get the help of the local government to provide transportation to Candon. After all, Krystal had become a frontliner and essential worker since she was the only source of cash for the residents in her town.

Soon enough, practically everyone in the communities around Krystal's store became her customers. Teachers, government workers, policemen, and even farmers and construction workers all depend on her store and its Cash Agad service to get their salaries. Her store also became the official channel for the government cash assistance given to 4Ps beneficiaries. This was done with the help of the local government.

It's not just Krystal's store that benefits from Cash Agad. Other business owners in the area, from other sari-sari stores to eateries, to hardware shops, and even stalls for vegetables, fruits, meat, and fish at the wet market--all of them thanked her for being able to provide cash to the community. This is because the amount of local spending had become greater than ever. People were spending their cash on local businesses instead of those in faraway Candon City.

"Krystal's experience really shows how the Cash Agad service expands financial inclusion in far-flung, hard-to-reach areas in the country. The result is a boost to the local economy. Established businesses earn more. More businesses are set up. The engine of local economic activity is revved up and eventually, there's improved quality of life for the residents.

"If the country's economy is ever going to bounce back from the pandemic, it will take all of us--big businesses, MSMEs, and both urban and rural communities and their local governments--to help each other and do our part. There's a certain inspiration, a beautiful sort of hope when you see communities working together to rise up and recover from a crisis. BDO is doing its part in helping communities recover economically through the Cash Agad network," said Mr. Jim Nasol, Head of Agency Banking, BDO Unibank.

For more information about Cash Agad, go to www.bdo.com.ph/cash-agad or send an email to cashagad@bdo.com.ph  for inquiries.