Singapore bank loans fell year on year for the 12th straight month in September as uncertain economic conditions force lenders and businesses to stay cautious.
Total bank loans fell to $603.43 billion, down by 0.8 per cent compared with $608.28 billion in September last year, according to preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
The latest September data marks the smallest year-on-year decline in loans since May this year.
The rate of decline eased from August, when total bank loans fell 1.6 per cent year on year.
Compared with August, lending was flat. Total loans in September inched down by 0.07 per cent from $603.85 billion recorded in August.
Year on year, business loans fell by 3.4 per cent in September to $355 billion, with large declines recorded in sectors such as agriculture, mining and quarrying, manufacturing and general commerce.
The drop in business loans was mitigated by the continued rise in consumer lending.
Supported by increases in mortgages and credit card interest payments, consumer loans rose to $248.4 billion, up by 3.1 per cent from the same month last year.