Bahamas Banks Beginning To Lend Again
Banks in The Bahamas are slowly but surely beginning to lend again, the Central Bank has confirmed, with credit to the private sector eking up by just around $700,000 — even as non-performing loans hike to $678 million.
It’s a turnaround, said the bank’s monthly report for January 2011, when compared to the $2 million contraction seen in 2010.
“Credit to the private sector rose marginally by $0.7 million,” said the report, “following a $3.5 million reduction last year, mainly reflecting a turnaround in commercial loans, to a gain of $19.6 million from a $2.0 million contraction in 2010.”
That growth, however, cannot be attributed to an uptick in home construction, with loans to mortgages slowing by $4.2 million to $7.1 million and a contraction in consumer credit more than doubling to $25.9 million. Mortgage delinquencies actually grew by around 3 percent or $19.2 million to $637.1 million during the month.
The banking sector is continuing to grapple with “deterioration in their loan portfolios,” said the bank.
“In January, total private sector loan arrears rose by $52.2 million (4.6 percent) to $1,198.9 million, following a $16.1 million (1.5 percent) advance in the same period of 2010, resulting in the ratio of arrears to total loans firming by 86 basis points to 19.2 percent,” the report stated.banks, business, economy, financial