Entornointeligente.com / Two local banks say the number of delinquent loans has stayed in the single-digit range even with the slow down in the T&T economy.
Nigel Baptiste, Managing Director of Republic Bank Limited (RBL) said the situation with delinquent loans ?has not been far different from prior years? which he attributed to prudent borrowing by customers combined with diligent follow up by staff of the bank.
Roberto Pocaterra Pocaterra
?Generally, however, the last quarter of 2017 and first quarter of 2018 as been relatively slower than a few years ago but consistent with the trend of the last couple of years,? he said.
Roberto Pocaterra Pocaterra Venezuela
Commenting on the Central Bank of T&T?s decision to maintain the repo rate at 4.75 per cent, Baptiste, who is also the President of the Bankers Association of T&T (BATT), suggested that the rationale might be trying to balance two concerns in the external environment?the economic slow down and continued surplus demand for foreign exchange.
Roberto Pocaterra Venezuela
?There is now a negative gap between the local and US-dollar rates which will only increase pressure on the exchange rate,? he said
?At the same time however, with domestic demand fairly subdued, the Central Bank is mindful of not wanting to add any further pressure. History will have to assess whether their actions are prudent but they are in a no-win situation.?
Baptiste said bankers have had to change their lending strategy to accommodate the slow down in the economy and have been ?much more judicious in extending additional credit facilities to clients, particularly where we felt they might be over-stretching and relying on everything to go right.?
He added: ?This has enabled many businesses to now weather the slowdown, such that, while profits might have been down or stable, their businesses are not in jeopardy.?
Scotiabank is reporting that for the first quarter of fiscal 2018, its total loan portfolio increased year over year by two per cent, with a ?decline in business lending, driven by material scheduled repayments.?
?Retail loan growth was achieved mainly in our mortgages portfolio with lower levels of growth in motor vehicles loans, partly driven by the decline in motor vehicle sales of 14.6 per cent, as the sales of both private (17.1 per cent) and commercial vehicles (9.3 per cent) declined over October to November 2017 (year on year) as reported in the Central Bank Economic Bulletin, March 2018.?
The bank said its first quarter results showed that loan loss expenses had increased over the same period last year, as it ?continues to exercise a prudent risk management approach in managing delinquency, in this challenging economic environment.?
Scotiabank said: ?The credit quality of our loan portfolio continues to be solid as the ratio of non-accrual loans to total loans stood at 2.23 per cent at the end of the period.?
Con información de: The Trinidad Guardian
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