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aws试用账号(www.2km.me)_Households to drive loan growth

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CLICK TO ENLARGEPETALING JAYA: As the economy picks up steam in the current quarter, banking sector earnings are expected to extend their recovery going into 2022 while loan growth is set to be fuelled by household loans.

With the reopening of the economic sectors as the country moves into the endemic phase, pent-up consumer demand is envisaged to boost household loans next year which are anticipated to grow at a faster phase than business loans.

The industry’s loan growth eased from 3.1% year-on-year (y-o-y) as at end-July 2021 to 2.5% y-o-y at end-August in the same year due to disruptions from lockdowns on banks’ lending activities.

There was a slowdown in the momentum for both major loan segments – from 4.2% y-o-y at end-July to 3.4% y-o-y at end-August for household loans, and from 1.3% y-o-y at end-July to 0.8% y-o-y at end-August for business loans.

However, there were signs of gradual normalisation in banks’ lending activities in August, reflected in the month-on-month increase of 12.5% in loan applications and 9.5% in loan approvals in August.

Responding to email queries from StarBiz, OCBC Bank (M) Bhd CEO Datuk Ong Eng Bin said that he expects a moderate loan growth in 2022, driven by the household segment from pent-up consumer demand as the economy and borders reopen.

He said corporate lending would still be robust, as there may be merger and acquisition opportunities, given the improved economic environment and higher risk taking.

“Businesses, especially the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), while remaining cautious, will require financing and/or working capital facilities to rebuild their balance sheets as their cash flows have been depleted over the prolonged lockdowns, and government guarantee schemes continue to complement the banks lending to these viable businesses,” he said.

Ong expressed his optimism on the sector moving into 2022, adding that the economic growth next year would be supported by the reopening of all sectors after a gradual recovery in the fourth quarter.

He said banks with healthy capital and flush liquidity buffers would continue to support their financial intermediation activities.

Higher loan approval is expected in the second half of next year with greater clarity on the underlying asset quality as relief programmes are phased out, he added.

“Although banks have since end-2020 built up substantial provisions for the weaker outlook, credit cost is expected to stay elevated above pre-pandemic levels due to the lag effect on credit profiles.

However, it is expected that provisions in 2022 will be lower than in 2020 and in 2021 which bodes well for the sector,” Ong noted.

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