• Bank’s end-2012 commercial loans up 4.7 percent

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    The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) over the weekend announced that consumer loans (CLs) by universal, commercial (U/KBs) and thrift banks (TBs) stood at P629.3 billion at end-2012.

    The BSP said that the end-2012 figure is 4.7 percent higher than the P601 billion posted during the third quarter of last year.

    The end-December figure is also a 15.3-percent increase from the P545.9 billion recorded a year earlier, it added.

    “The rise in credit card, auto, residential real estate and other consumer loans [CLs] was spurred by low and stable interest rates, managed inflation, the continued strength in the remittances of overseas Filipinos, the growth in the business process outsourcing industry, and a healthy consumer outlook for the year,” the central bank stated.

    Meanwhile, it noted that said banks’ nonperforming CLs at end-2012 stood at P42.2 billion, up from the P41 billion registered during the third quarter of 2012 and the P37.5 billion at end-2011.

    The BSP explained that risks from soured loans are adequately provisioned for as U/KBs and TBs set aside 70 percent in loan loss reserves for nonperforming CLs, which account for about 1 percent of their total loans in December.

    Moreover, the central bank continued that CL exposures of banks are lower compared to their Southeast Asian counterparts.

    CL exposure in Malaysia is 55.6 percent; Indonesia, 30 percent; and Singapore, 27.5 percent.

    “BSP continues to monitor banks’ loan portfolio in line with its efforts to keep credit standards at high levels. This is vital to mitigating risks in the industry which is a key policy objective under the BSP’s financial stability agenda,” it added.

    Mayvelin U. Caraballo

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