CONSUMER loans by universal commercial and thrift banks climbed 25.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 from a year earlier, data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday showed.
Lending in the fourth quarter rose to P902.60 billion from P721.54 billion a year earlier, and was 6.23 percent higher than the P849.64 billion of consumer loans recorded in the third quarter of 2014.
The rise in consumer lending was due to the sustained growth of auto loans, credit card loans, and residential real estate loans availed of by households, the BSP said.
Meanwhile, the ratio of the banks’ non-performing consumer loans to total consumer loans slightly dropped to 4.8 percent from 5.3 percent a year earlier, the BSP said.
The central bank also recognized the banks’ efforts to maintain their stability by setting aside the equivalent of 60.6 percent of their non-performing consumer loans as a cushion for potential credit losses.
As a percentage of total lending, Philippine banks’ exposure to consumer lending stood at 15.9 percent, still low compared to its peers in Southeast Asia, the BSP stated.
It said that as of end-December 2014, the consumer credit exposure in Malaysia stood at 57.8 percent; Indonesia at 28.3 percent; Thailand at 27.8 percent; and Singapore at 25.7 percent
“The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas monitors consumer and other types of bank lending to ensure the banks’ adherence to high credit standards. This is essential to fostering financial stability, which is a key policy objective of the BSP,” it said.