Bank of China (BoC), the country’s fourth-largest bank by assets, on Monday reported a 3.3 per cent rise in net profit for the third quarter of this year. Profit was 54.76 billion yuan ($7.48 billion) in the three months ended September, up from a restated 53.02 billion yuan in the same quarter a year earlier, the bank said in a filing.
The profit growth, however, slowed from a 4.8 per cent year-on-year increase in the third quarter last year and 13.2 per cent rise in the same period in 2021 as banks are under government pressure to keep borrowing costs down to support a faltering economy.
Net interest margin, a key gauge of bank profitability, narrowed to 1.64 per cent from 1.67 per cent at the end of June, the filing showed.
Four of China’s largest listed lenders also posted shrinking margins in the third quarter last week. The squeeze in margins comes as state-owned banks were asked to lower interest rates this year on existing mortgages to help revive the real estate industry to help bolster a sputtering economy.
The non-performing loan ratio at Bank of China fell to 1.27 per cent at the end of September compared with 1.28 per cent three months ago, according to the filing.