Singapore's bank lending slows for seventh month in September

Amala Balakrishner
·2-min read

Singapore’s bank lending dipped for the seventh month in September, following a decline in both business and consumer loans.

Singapore’s bank lending dipped for the seventh month in September, following a decline in both business and consumer loans.

Total loans from the domestic banking unit – which captures lending in all currencies, but mainly reflects Singapore-dollar lending – came in at $677.46 billion in September. This is down a smidgen from the $677.86 billion disbursed in August.

See also: Singapore's bank lending slowed for the sixth month in August

On a year-on-year basis, total loans were down 1% the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) outlined on Oct 30.  This marks the fourth consecutive year-on-year decline in lending.

September’s decline was led by a 0.3% plunge in loans to businesses to $421.28 billion, from the $422.54 billion disbursed in the month before. 

This follows a 1.9% plunge in loans to financial institutions to $99.38 billion, making this the segment’s second straight month of decline.

A further depression in lending was mitigated by a 0.7% expansion in loans to the construction industry to $150.91 billion.

Consumer loan disbursements bucked the trend to climb 0.3% to $256.18 in September, thanks to share financing and higher housing loans. 

Housing loans – which account for nearly 75% of consumer lending -  was up 0.1% from the previous month to hit $199.09 billion in disbursements. This marks the first time segment is coming in the green, since January.

Similarly, share financing expanded by 6.5% to $1.87 billion, from $1.75 billion in August.

Compared to September 2019, business loan growth was down 0.2% while than for consumers shrank by 2.5%.

Shares of all three banks were down on Oct 30, with DBS dropping 21 cents or 1.02% to close at $20.35 and UOB also dipping 12 cents or 0.63% to $18.99. OCBC meanwhile closed at $8.42, down 4 cents or 0.47%.

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