Bank lending expands by 8.8 percent in February: BSP

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 31 2022 04:59 PM

MANILA - Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Thursday said the outstanding loans of universal and commercial banks, net of reverse repurchase placements, grew 8.8 percent year-on-year in February compared to the previous month.

"Credit activity continues to gain momentum as easing COVID-19 restrictions drive the improvement in mobility and market demand," the BSP said in a statement.

"The BSP continues to see scope to safeguard the momentum of economic recovery amid increased uncertainty, even as indications of sustained improvement in credit activity allows the BSP to gradually unwind its pandemic-related interventions," it added.

The Monetary Board earlier decided to maintain the country's benchmark borrowing rate at its record-low of 2 percent despite rising commodity prices, as it focus on supporting economic growth. 

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the central bank is waiting for the right conditions to unwind pandemic stimulus. 

Lending was dragged by the pandemic consumer spending and business expansions slowed down the past few years. 

Economic activities, as well as bank lending, benefitted from the lowering of mobility restrictions to Alert Level 1. 

The Philippines is awaiting an update on mobility restrictions for April.

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