Despite the adverse context of the pandemic, new corporate and retail loans granted by Romanian banks in the first four months of 2021 increased 32 percent to 34 billion lei from 25.7 billion lei registered in the same period of the year before, shows data of the Romanian Banking Association (ARB).
Thus, the amount of new loans granted over January - April is by one third higher than last year and represents over 11 percent of the non-government credit. The non-government credit is calculated as the difference between the total loans granted to the population and the companies and partial and total repayments, as well as loan sales.
In the first four months of the year, new lending was boosted by corporate lending which accounts for 56 percent of the volume of new lending by banks. The upward trend of lending continued in May, as the non-government credit advanced 10.1 percent YoY to 296 billion lei - the fastest growth rate since the beginning of the pandemic.
ARB mentions that Romanian banks continue to provide loans in a sustained manner, both in order to support companies that have resumed or intensified their activity, and for the needs of the population. The population took out loans worth 15 billion lei, and companies accessed loans worth almost 19 billion lei between January and April 2021.
The distribution by currencies shows an increased interest for loans in the national currency, which account for almost 81.75 percent of the total amount of new loans accessed, followed by new loans in euro with 16.65 percent and loans in US dollars - with 1.60 percent. New loans in national currency granted over the first four months of the year totaled 27.8 billion lei, up 38 percent compared to January-April 2020. The loans taken out by the population were almost entirely in national currency - 99.2 percent of the aggregate new loans granted to the population, while loans in euro amounted to approximately 120 million lei, representing the difference of 0.8 percent.
The distribution by currency in the case of corporate loans shows a significant preference for the national currency, which accounts for 67.7 percent of the total new loans accessed by companies; loans in euro account for approximately 29 percent and the rest were in US dollars.
Amid the pandemic, the banks covered the clients' financing needs, with new loans granted last year on the non-governmental segment being slightly above the level registered in 2019.
"The banking system has the necessary stability/soundness indicators and the tools to support credit growth on a sustainable basis, but at the same time it needs support to remove existing barriers. The banking community wants to have a real, continuous and constructive dialogue with all stakeholders in order to prioritize the importance of sustainable lending in the economic development of Romania," the ARB release states, Agerpres informs.