Peruvian Bank Lending Growth of 18% Sustainable, Rivera Says

Peruvian bank lending will grow as much as 18 percent this year and next without creating risks to the financial system, the president of the country’s banking association said.

Economic growth of about 6 percent and demand from new customers will allow a faster rate of loan expansion than in developed economies, Oscar Rivera, head of the association known as Asbanc, told reporters in Lima today.

Policy makers raised reserve requirements for a second month in October to cool credit demand and stem inflows. Sol-denominated loans jumped 17 percent in August from a year ago to 68.9 billion soles ($26.7 billion) while dollar loans rose 16 percent to $26.7 billion, spurred by consumer demand and private investment, according to Asbanc. Lending growth should stay below 15 percent, though occasional expansion above that is “no big deal,” central bank president Julio Velarde said Sept. 26.

“The banks are being very careful,” Rivera said. “We’re in the midst of development and that brings growth. There’s no reason to be concerned.”

Outstanding loans in Peru were equivalent to 26 percent of gross domestic product last year, compared with a ratio of 74 percent in Chile, 49 percent in Brazil and 32 percent in Colombia, Asbanc said.

Rivera, who is also president of the Latin American Banking Federation, said 1,500 officials from the global banking industry will attend the group’s annual summit in Lima next month.

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