Bank lending climbs for 12th straight month in September as growth picks up to 6.2%

Bank loans have been rising year on year since October last year with growth hitting 7.6 per cent in June.
Bank loans have been rising year on year since October last year with growth hitting 7.6 per cent in June.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Bank loans rose year on year for the 12th straight month in September with the pace of growth picking up on a jump in business lending.

Total lending last month rose to S$640.68 billion, up 6.2 per cent compared with S$603.43 billion in September last year, according to preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore on Tuesday (Oct 31).

Bank loans have been rising year on year since October last year with growth hitting 7.6 per cent in June, the fastest in more than two years. But July and August saw lending momentum slow, mainly due to slower growth in business loans.

On a month on month basis, September lending rose 1 per cent from S$634.41 billion the previous month, accelerating from the 0.3 per cent growth in August.

Business lending in September expanded year on year for the tenth straight month to S$383.29 billion, up 8 per cent from a year earlier.

Growth came from lending to financial firms, which swelled 15 per cent year on year to S$92.37 billion, and to general commerce firms, which jumped 16.4 per cent to S$69.2 billion. Loans to manufacturers rose 11.1 per cent to S$26.53 billion, while those to transport, storage & communications firms climbed 10.8 per cent to S$22.22 billion.

However, lending to the still-struggling building & construction sector saw little change at S$120.12 billion.

Meanwhile, consumer borrowing rose 3.6 per cent year on year in September to S$257.4 billion, slightly lower than August's 3.9 per cent growth. Mortgages and bridging loans increased by 4.2 per cent to reach S$197.03 billion.