Credit database a must to boost lending–CTB

The Chamber of Thrift Banks (CTB) is eyeing to onboard all its members to the country’s central credit registry data soon to improve bank lending amid the coronavirus pandemic.

CTB President Cecilio D. San Pedro said in a general meeting last week that over 80 percent of the group’s members are now submitting credit data to the Credit Information Corp. (CIC) and in full compliance with the Credit Information System Act.

“Some are still in the testing stage and are expected to be in full compliance soon,” he added.

San Pedro shared that some thrift banks are accessing credit data from the CIC database as well.

This is a welcome move given that thrift banks have continued lending to micro, small and medium enterprises and consumers.

“Thrift banks have never ceased extending loans since the pandemic started,” CTB Executive Director Suzanne I. Felix told the BusinessMirror. “Despite the pandemic, there are sectors that not only survived but even grew, especially those catering to the needs of the new normal, thanks to the thrift banks that continue to support these sectors by providing new loans, renewals and restructuring.”

San Pedro said the association welcomes the Primary ID Number system that the CIC launched recently. The system allows individuals without government identification cards to be included in the credit database.

As a result, additional six million borrowers were recorded in less than a month. This brought the number of individuals “on-boarded” to the database to 18.2 million or nearly 26 percent of the country’s adult population as of end-August.

“I, therefore, encourage our members to start accessing the CIC data and enable your institution to reduce your overall credit risk and improve the overall availability of credit, especially to our niche markets: the MSMEs and the consumers,” San Pedro said. The CTB president also said that thrift banks are using the fresh liquidity from the 100-basis point cut in the reserve requirement to continue providing loans.

He said the monetary authorities’ move translated to billions worth of liquidity, allowing thrift banks to extend borrowings with longer term and reasonable rates.

Thrift banks saw their loan portfolio decline by 15.64 percent to P789.01 billion as of end-June from previous year’s P935.27 billion, preliminary data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas revealed.

Restructured loans, meanwhile, were amounting to P5.01 billion in the first half, which is 7.05 percent higher compared to P4.68 billion in the previous year for the same period.

As of end-June, the thrift banks have a capital adequacy ratio of 14.28, which is above the minimum regulatory requirement.


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