Bank lending growth eases anew

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    BSP said bank lending growth waned during the month as the COVID-19 crisis continued to dampen consumer spending and business activity. 

    Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said growth of outstanding loans of universal and commercial banks declined to 0.3 percent in November from 1.8 percent in October.

    On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, outstanding universal and commercial bank loans, net of RRPs, contracted by 0.3 percent.

    Benjamin Diokno, BSP Governor, said bank lending growth waned during the month as the COVID-19 crisis continued to dampen consumer spending and business activity.

    Loans for production activities grew by 0.5 percent in November from 2.0 percent in October as outstanding loans to key industries declined further, particularly wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles and manufacturing.

    Similarly, consumer loans grew at lower rate of 7.1 percent in November from 7.9 percent in October due largely to the slowdown in credit card loans and the continued contraction in motor vehicle loans during the month.

    Domestic liquidity (M3), meanwhile, expanded by 10.5 percent year-on-year to about ₱13.7 trillion in November.

    This was slower, however, than the 11.6-percent growth in October.

    On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, M3 increased by 0.5 percent.

    Domestic claims grew by 6.7 percent year-on-year in November from 8.0 percent in the previous month as bank lending remained weak.

    “Growth in loans for production activities declined on slower lending to key industries, including wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles as well as manufacturing,” Diokno said.

    Similarly, consumer lending also eased due mainly to lower credit card and motor vehicle loans.

    Net borrowings by the central government expanded by 40.7 percent in November from 46.6 percent in the previous  month, due in part to the sustained borrowings by the National Government.

    Net foreign assets (NFA) in peso terms expanded by 22.9 percent year-on-year in November after rising by 23.3 percent in October.

    The expansion in the BSP’s NFA position reflected the increase in the country’s gross international reserves during the month.

    The growth in the NFA of banks increased as banks’ foreign liabilities contracted mainly on account of lower foreign bills payables.

    The overall stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, Diokno said.

    “Going forward, the BSP will continue to be vigilant in monitoring domestic liquidity dynamics and stands ready to deploy further monetary measures as needed, in line with its commitment to support domestic economic activity amid the COVID-19 pandemic while maintaining price stability,” Diokno said.