Serbian citizens and companies hesitant to borrow from banks

Citizens are becoming increasingly cautious when borrowing money from banks, and the same goes for businesses.

The credit activity of banks in the first quarter of this year, observed on an annual basis, continued to slow down, according to the analysis of trends in credit activity in this period conducted by the National Bank of Serbia (NBS).

The NBS points out that this trend was influenced by the high base from the previous year, the maturity of loans from guarantee schemes and higher interest rates in the conditions of the restrictive monetary policies of the National Bank and the European Central Bank.

As for retail loans, the year-on-year growth of these loans further slowed down to 4.4 percent in March, from 6.3 percent at the end of 2022, which, according to the central bank, was a result of lower demand for loans due to rising interest rates and high base from the previous year.

In nominal terms, retail loans granted in March amounted to 1,448.3 billion dinars (about 12.2 billion euros), which makes up 46.8 percent of banks’ credit claims from the non-monetary sector, or 19.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

On the other hand, the amount of granted housing loans increased by 1.4 billion dinars and their year-on-year growth in March was 8 percent, so the share of housing loans in total household loans in the first quarter increased by 0.1 percentage point to 40.4 percent in March, while the share of cash loans to 43.7 percent, which was the same as at the end of 2022.

Granted corporate loans continued to slow down year-on-year in the first quarter to 2 percent in March, from 7.1 percent in December last year, and in the first three months they dropped by RSD 12.5 billion, or by 0.8 percent. Observed by purpose, in the first quarter, investment loans decreased the most, by 6.5 billion dinars, followed by loans for liquidity and working capital and uncategorized loans, with a decrease of 3.6 billion dinars each.

(Dnevnik, 08.06.2023)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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