Bank credit picks pace as economy revives

Bank credit picks pace as economy revives

Lenders are seeing a pick-up in loan demand with demand from medium sized firms and retail borrowers as the economy is slowly coming back on track as COVID restrictions ease.

Bank credit rose 6.8 per cent in October compared to 5.1 per cent in the same period a year ago, according to the latest figures released by the Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday. Outstanding credit amounted to Rs 110.5 lakh crore as of October 22, up Rs 7 lakh crore over a year.

The pick up in loan demand is largely due to the push from government schemes even as large corporates and top rated borrowers continue to rely on capital markets and the overseas markets where they manage to raise funds at much cheaper rates. India’s Weighted Average Lending rates were at 7.20% in September, according to the RBI data. At the same time, the average rates for triple-A rated five-year corporate bonds were at 6% and at 5.29% for three-year maturity, show Bloomberg data compiled by ETIG

The latest data on sectoral flow of credit offtake that lending to Medium sized firms rose 49 per cent year-on-year to Rs 1.75 Lakh crore as of end September compared to the same period a year ago. Much of the lending is reckoned to be under the government’s Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) MSME sector, under which the government provides 100% Guarantee to banks in respect of eligible credit facility extended by it to its borrowers.

In addition consumer durable loans have risen by 40 per cent compared to 14.9 per cent in the same period a year ago, with borrowers taking advantage of the reduced interest rates. With the government’s renewed thrust on the social sector, lending to infrastructure more than doubled to Rs 1323 crore in September from Rs 1081 crore a year ago.

On the liability side, the pace of deposit pick-up has slowed down to 9.9 per cent compared to 10.1 per cent in the same period a year ago. But deposit growth still continues to outpace the credit growth. In absolute terms banks raised almost double the amount of deposits at Rs 14 lakh crore than the amount they lent during the period.

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