Salary, credit card loans soar amid rate hikes–BSP


FILIPINOS continued obtaining salary and credit card loans in February, amid the increases in key policy rates, according to data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Salary loans surged 69.3 percent in February while credit card loan growth was in double-digit at 29.4 percent.

The growth in salary loans was higher than the 67 percent posted in January, while credit card loans slowed from the 30.7-percent growth it posted at the start of the year.

“Consumer loans to residents rose by 21.2 percent in February from 20.3 percent in the previous month, with the sustained growth in credit card and salary-based general purpose consumption loans,” the BSP said.

The data showed Salary-Based General Purpose Consumption Loans reached P121.86 billion while credit card loans reached P567.12 billion in February 2023.

“Sustained credit and ample liquidity will continue to support robust domestic demand. Even as the Philippine banking system remains sound, the BSP will keep a watchful eye over evolving market conditions to ensure that credit and liquidity dynamics continue to be in line with its price and financial stability mandates,” BSP stated.

Meanwhile, the preliminary data also showed that outstanding loans of universal and commercial banks (U/KBs), net of reverse repurchase (RRP) placements with the BSP, grew by 10 percent year-on-year in February 2023 from 10.4 percent in the previous month.

On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, outstanding universal and commercial bank loans, net of RRPs, eased slightly by 0.2 percent.

The data showed outstanding loans to non-residents rose by 14.8 percent in February following a 16.8-percent growth rate in the previous month.

BSP said outstanding loans to non-residents include loans by UKB’s foreign currency deposit units (FCDUs) to non-residents.

The outstanding loans to residents, net of RRPs, increased by 9.9 percent in February, slower than the 10.2-percent rise in January.

Outstanding loans for production activities expanded by 8.7 percent in February from 9.2 percent in January, driven by the growth in credit to key sectors, particularly financial and insurance activities at 12.5 percent.

This was followed by wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (9.2 percent); electricity, gas, steam, and airconditioning supply (9.3 percent); information and communication (18.6 percent); manufacturing (8.3 percent); and real estate activities (3.8 percent).