Amid the efforts of the government and the business world to rise from the COVID19 pandemic, PermataBank is able to make a positive contribution to the Indonesian economy by continuing the momentum for a solid performance improvement in the first quarter of 2021 (“Q1-21”) by consistently implemented a sustainable business strategy to successfully record significant net profit growth, maintain asset quality at a safe level and maintain a liquidity and capital position to support a better and sustainable business growth.
PermataBank managed to record a total asset growth of 21.5% YoY to Rp.203.5 trillion making the Bank one of the 10 largest commercial banks in Indonesia based on total assets. Operating income was recorded at Rp.2.4 trillion or a growth of 14.1% yoy in line with the growth of the Bank's assets and business after the completion of integration with Bank Indonesia's Bangkok in December 2020, although the banking industry in general is still facing challenges in asset growth related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the slowdown in economic growth that continued in the current period. Lending grew by 6.6% YoY to Rp.117.7 trillion mainly driven by credit growth in the Wholesale Banking segment of 28.7% YoY and KPR loans of 15.5% YoY.
In addition, the Bank continued to apply operational cost management optimally as reflected in the improvement in the ratio of Operating Expenses to Operating Income (BOPO) to 82.3% or a gain of 11.8% compared to the same period last year of 94.0%. The Bank also ensures that the provision for impairment losses is sufficient prudently to anticipate potential losses given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is continuing in the current year. The NPL coverage ratio is well maintained in a fairly conservative range, 246% higher than the same period last year of 152%. However, with the improvement in asset quality that occurred during the current period, the total allowance for credit impairment costs decreased by 34% to Rp.420 billion in Q1-21.
The improvement in the Bank's performance as described above resulted in the Bank's Net Profit after tax in Q1-21 increasing significantly to Rp.494 billion compared to Rp.2 billion in the same period last year.
Amid the significant impact of the pandemic on the banking industry's NPL ratio, the Bank managed to maintain gross NPL and net NPL ratios at 2.9% and 1.0%, respectively, better than the same period last year, respectively at levels of 3.2% and 1.2%. NPL improvements will continue to be achieved by restructuring problem loans, write-offs of loans, sales of NPL loans and growth in good book loans.
The Bank's liquidity position is well maintained, as reflected in the Loan to Deposit Ratio (LDR) of 77% at the end of March 2021, down from last year's position of 80%. This was contributed, among others, by an increase in customer deposits which grew by 12.2% YoY with a CASA ratio of 54%, higher than the position in December 2020 of 51%. The bank will continue to focus on accelerating the rate of credit growth, in line with the economic recovery expected by completing the national vaccination program.
The Bank's capital ratio has been well maintained since the completion of integration with Bangkok Bank Indonesia in December 2020, as reflected in the CAR and CET-1 ratios at the end of March 2021 of 35.2% and 26.6%, respectively an increase compared to 19.6. % and 18.4% as of March 2020. This achievement is far above the minimum regulatory requirement or the average CAR ratio of the Indonesian banking industry.
PermataBank also continues to encourage the implementation of digitalization in banking transactions. Digital transactions from all digital channels, especially PermataMobile X and PermataNET, experienced significant double growth compared to last year, while QR Pay transactions through PermataMobile X experienced the highest growth reaching over 400%. To support financial inclusion and digital acceleration and helping the Indonesian economy during pandemic, PermataBank has also become the leading bank in providing PermataQR services for business players, especially the MSME sector, so that they can accept non-cash payments and support Bank Indonesia's efforts to achieve the target of 12 million merchants in Indonesia. Digitalization is also implemented in services through branch offices with the addition of Model Branches to provide a seamless banking experience in offline and online services.
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