Bank lending up for 11th straight month in August though growth slows to 5.1%

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 11th straight month in August though the pace of growth slowed for the second straight month as business lending cooled.

Total lending last month rose to S$634.41 billion, up 5.1 per cent compared with S$603.85 billion in August last year, according to preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore on Friday (Sept 29).

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 saw lending momentum easing to 5.9 per cent, mainly due to slower growth in business loans.

Business lending in August expanded year on year for the ninth straight month to S$378.16 billion, up 5.8 per cent from a year earlier. This was slower than July's 7.4 per cent and June's 10.5 per cent expansion.

Loans to manufacturers and building & construction firms saw little change, with growth mainly coming from lending to financial firms, which swelled 12.7 per cent to S$89.47 billion, and to general commerce firms which rose 10.4 per cent to S$67.18 billion.

Meanwhile, consumer borrowing rose 3.9 per cent year on year in August to S$256.25 billion, slightly higher than July's 3.8 per cent growth, led by an increase in mortgages and bridging loans which rose 4.3 per cent to reach S$196.37 billion.

On a month on month basis, August lending rose 0.3 per cent from July's S$632.6 billion.