First BanCorp., the bank holding company for FirstBank Puerto Rico (reported net income of $2.3 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2020, compared to $36.4 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2019, and $43.3 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2019.
Financial results for the first quarter of 2020 included the effect of a reserve build for loans, finance leases and debt securities of $59.8 million ($39.8 million after-tax, or $(0.18) per diluted share), driven by the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on forecasted economic and market conditions, and a tax-exempt gain from sales of investment securities of $8.2 million, or $0.04 per diluted share.
“Our hearts go out to those impacted by this pandemic from both a humanitarian and economic standpoint,” said First BanCorp President Aurelio Alemán. “This has been devastating to many families and we remain vigilant as certain markets begin to gradually open.”
The bank entered the COVID-19 pandemic crisis from a position of institutional strength to support its people, clients and shareholders, he said.
“We’re extremely well-capitalized, with a total risk-based capital ratio of 25.4%, among the best capitalized banks in the U.S. and our reserve coverage — with the adoption of the Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL) Methodology — of 3.24% is also among the highest levels for the banking sector,” he said.
The financial institution relied on its operational and digital capabilities to service communities under a social distancing environment.
“Our dividend is supported by our strong capital position and strong pre-tax, pre-provision revenue, which was $68 million in the first quarter. The quarter results and business volume reflect the impact of our main market lockdown that began on March 16,” Alemán said.