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May 27, 2024

Bank lending quickens in February

Growth in the outstanding loans of the various expanded license or universal as well as commercial banks quickened in February, based on a preliminary report of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

According to the BSP, the large banks’ outstanding loans grew by 8.8 percent in February from growth of only 8.4 percent in January.

On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, the outstanding universal and commercial bank loans net of so-called RRPs, or borrowings, increased by 0.4 percent.

“Credit activity continues to gain momentum as easing COVID-19 restrictions drive the improvement in mobility and market demand,” the BSP said.

According to the BSP, the loans were for production purposes and these went up by 9.7 percent in February from only 9.5 percent a month earlier.

This increase, the BSP added, was “driven by the increase in credit for real estate activities (16 percent); wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (5.7 percent); information and communication (33.3 percent); financial and insurance activities (13.2 percent); manufacturing (11 percent) and electricity, gas, steam and air- conditioning supply (0.4 percent).”

Consumer loans also increased slightly to 0.9 percent from 0.4 percent owing to the year-on-year rise in credit loans.

The outstanding loans to non-residents also increased to 7.3 percent from 3.2 percent in January.

The BSP also vowed to continue to safeguard the momentum of economic recovery in the midst of increased uncertainty even as indications of sustained improvement in credit activity allows it to gradually unwind its pandemic-related interventions.

Looking ahead, the BSP stands ready to adjust its monetary policy settings in ensuring non-inflationary and sustainable growth, in line with its price and financial stability mandates.