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Total bank lending in Singapore declines in December

Total loans and advances by banks amounted to S$599.8 billion in December 2015, down from S$603.9 billion in November.

SINGAPORE: Bank lending in Singapore declined in December, from November, as loans for general commerce and to financial institutions fell, data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) showed on Friday (Jan 29).

Total loans and advances by banks amounted to S$599.8 billion in December 2015, down from S$603.9 billion in November. Compared to a year ago, bank lending fell 1.2 per cent from S$607.2 billion, according to MAS.

Loans to businesses fell to S$367.1 billion in December from S$361.6 billion a month earlier. This was mainly due to a decline in loans to general commerce which fell 5.5 per cent to S$65.9 billion. Loans to financial institutions fell 1.5 per cent to S$68.7 billion last month.

Meanwhile, consumer loans increased 0.2 per cent month-on-month to S$242.7 billion from S$242.3 billion in November, MAS said.

Housing and bridging loans rose in December to S$184.7 billion from S$184.3 billion in November. These loans totalled S$177.4 billion in December 2014.

Credit card lending rose nearly 1 per cent in December from a month earlier to S$10.3 billion. Credit card billings rose 9.2 per cent to S$4.85 million, but rollover balance from credit cards fell 2.3 per cent to S$5.3 million.

Banks wrote off S$30.5 million in bad debts last month, up from S$29.6 million in November and S$23.5 million a year ago, said MAS.