Quarterly Bank Lending Conditions Survey, March 2016

Published Monday August 15th, 2016

Data on private sector credit for the first quarter of 2016 showed that the volume and value of new credit extended by commercial banks remained largely dependent on the credit worthiness of applicants, as evidenced by the quality of their collateral, their debt service ratios and credit history.

In light of the cautious economic environment, characterized by still elevated lending risks, private sector credit softened by 0.3% to $5,986.19 million at end-March 2016, when compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, as debt repayments and loan write-offs overshadowed new financing.

During the first quarter of 2016, just over 10,000 loan applications were submitted to banks—with 9,990 completing final processing. This reflected a seasonal reduction in requests when compared to the Q4 2015 survey[1], where a little over 11,000 applications were received. Several of the trends noted in previous reports were maintained, as demand was highest for consumer credit, at 91.4% of the total, while mortgages (4.5%) and commercial loans (4.1%) shared the balance. A breakdown by major market showed that the bulk (79.1%) of the applications were processed in New Providence, with Grand Bahama and the Family Islands accounting for the remaining 15.2% and 5.7%, respectively.

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