Singapore bank lending dips for 2nd straight month: MAS data

SINGAPORE – Loans by banks declined for the second consecutive month in April, inching down 0.4 per cent from March, with business and consumer activity disrupted amid the coronavirus outbreak, preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore showed on Friday (May 29).

Total lending in April through the domestic banking unit, which captures lending in all currencies but reflects mainly Singapore-dollar lending, stood at $689.7 billion, down from $692.4 billion in March.

It rose 2 per cent over the same month last year.

Lending to both businesses and consumers fell last month.

Loans to business segments were mixed.

Loans to sectors such as agriculture, construction and transport, storage and communication inched up, compared with March.

But financial institutions and businesses in manufacturing and general commerce did not borrow as much over the same period.

Total business lending in April stood at $433.8 billion, down 0.1 per cent from $434.2 billion in March.

Consumer loans shrank 0.9 per cent to $255.9 billion in April, from $258.2 billion in March.

Consumer lending fell across all segments, including housing, car and credit card loans.

Housing loans, which make up three-quarters of consumer loans, declined to $200.06 billion in April, from $200.3 billion in March.

Car loans fell to $8.7 billion from $8.8 billion while credit card loans contracted to $9.7 billion from $10.6 billion over the same period.

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