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Vasiliauskas: Flow of new loans shrinks in Lithuania amid coronavirus lockdown

BC, Vilnius, 07.05.2020.Print version
The flow of new loans provided by Lithuanian commercial banks has shrunk amid the coronavirus lockdown, due in part to a decline in demand for loans, the central bank's governor said on Thursday referred LETA/BNS.

"Our data show that the flow of loans has decreased," Vitas Vasiliauskas said at an online meeting with journalists. "The decrease is around 30% for new housing loans, around 50% for other new loans to private individuals, and around 40% for business loans." 


The actual decrease is even greater, given that a part of the applications for some of the new loans were filed before the coronavirus crisis, the governor noted.  


"We'll be able to speak about the real impact (of the coronavirus crisis) on the credit flow in late May," he said.


According to Vasiliauskas, figures provided by a leading commercial bank show that the number of applicants has fallen by a factor of eight and some of them opt not to take out loans. Other banks have also reported a decline in demand for new loans.


"This situation raises a lot of questions for me, because both the need for new loans and the low use of available support instruments does cause a lot of thoughts," he said. "However, demand has fallen and the flow of new loans has decreased." 


Vasiliauskas said there were no signs that banks could be trying to compensate for the lower revenue due to the decline in new lending by revising the terms of existing loans or raising prices for other services. 


Moratoriums on loan holidays for business and retail customers, signed by banks last month, stipulate very clearly that the terms of rescheduled loans cannot be revised, he noted.






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