Bank-lending activity unchanged for past 7 months

By Jun Vallecera, Business Mirror

Posted at Jan 31 2011 09:13 AM | Updated as of Jan 31 2011 10:39 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Bank-lending standards, an indication of the strength of economic activity throughout the country, was generally unchanged in the third quarter compared with the previous three months, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said on Friday.

In a briefing conducted by BSP Assistant Governor Maria Cyd Tuano-Amador, the central bank said the banks generally kept their lending standard for both household and corporate borrowers where they were three months earlier.

The quarterly survey also helps the central bank determine whether the banks, as important channels for the transmission of monetary policy, have been effective.

The BSP found that generally the banks neither tightened nor loosened their lending standard during the period, encouraging businesses and households to continue to finance their credit requirements from the banks.

This was the seventh quarter in a series that bank-lending standards were found unchanged since the first survey was conducted in the second quarter of 2009.

However, bank lending based on the size of the borrower appeared to have tightened, particularly in relation to so-called large middle-market businesses.

“Respondent banks’ specific credit standards showed an overall credit tightening in terms of collateral requirements, loan covenants and loan maturities. However, respondents indicated a net narrowing of loan margins and a net increase in the size of credit lines overall as well as for top corporations,” the BSP reported on Friday.