New bank loans in March-August down 15% year-on-year
The volume of new loans Romanian banks extended to households and companies since the coronavirus outbreak, namely during March-August, contracted by 4.7% compared to the same period last year, to RON 38.5 billion (EUR 7.9 bln).
On the upside, the corporate lending posted its first positive annual performance in August already and is expected to further strengthen with the Government's support.
The steepest contraction was seen in May, when the new loans shrank by one third compared to the same month of 2019, to under EUR 1 bln.
The market gained traction again, and the new loans extended in August lagged by only 3.4% compared to the same month of 2019.
The flow of mortgage loans remained the most lucrative one - with the volume of new loans extended during the six-month under review increasing by 10% compared to the same period in 2019, to RON 7.0 bln (18.3% of total new loans during the period).
However, the new consumer loans contracted by nearly one-third year-on-year to RON 8.8 bln (22.7% of total).
Altogether, the new retail loans accounted for 43% of total new loans and contracted by 17.4% year-on-year (due to fewer consumer loans).
The volume of new corporate loans (RON 21.9 bln, or EUR 4.5 bln) posted a below-average contraction rate of 12.6% year-on-year.
Notably, the new corporate loans extended by Romanian banks in August increased for the first time in the post-lockdown period, by 1.1% year-on-year.
The growth rate is likely to strengthen once the SME financing program IMM Invest gains momentum.
The stock of bank loans to the private sector accelerated marginally in August to a 3.7% annual growth rate, from 3.6% in July.
In absolute terms, it hit RON274.4 bln (EUR 56.6 bln). In real terms, discounted for consumer price inflation, the banks' private loan portfolio advanced by 1% on the year.