Lending stock for Irish households at 2004 levels

The total stock of loans advanced by banks to Irish households continues to contract and has now slumped to levels last recorded almost 11 years ago in 2004, Central Bank figures published yesterday showed.

The figures show that so-called deleveraging, by which companies and households pay off loans faster than banks lend out new loans, continues apace.

Overall, the stock of all types of lending to all households, including home loans and consumer credit, has slumped to €92.88bn, the lowest level since December 2004, and sharply down from a peak of €156.79bn reached in May 2008.

The total value of loans to non-financial corporations, the small and large companies that form the backbone of the economy, fell to €52.41bn in August.

That level marks the lowest level since August 2002. Loans to non-financial corporations had hit a peak of €171.32bn seven years ago in 2008.

The figures also show that the stock of home loans had shrunk to a total of €76.78bn in August, as mortgage loans were paid down at a faster rate than lenders advanced new loans.

Home loans have now collapsed to February 2005 levels, and compare with a peak of €127.28bn in May 2008.

The stock of consumer credit loans now stands at €11.31bn, sharply down from a peak of €28.98bn in January 2009, and at its lowest level since October 2002.

Eamonn Hughes, analyst at Goodbody Stockbrokers, said that while he expects lending from Allied Irish Banks and Bank of Ireland to be flat this year, defunct lenders continue to wind down their loan books.

There was evidence, however, that new lending to both small businesses and for mortgages was increasing, he said.


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