Negative Net Lending to Firms and Households

Last month, Philip noted the new Central Bank release on Money and Banking. Philip pointed out the new presentation of the data in a more useful format, with figures presented for what is essentially an IFSC and non-IFSC breakdown.  I had meant at the time to chip in to note some other useful improvements but didn’t get around to it.

So, with this month’s release now available (with figures through July), let me first point out that the Bank are now making historical time series available (not sure a direct link works, so click on Statistics on the — newly rebranded! — webpage and then on Data under Credit, Money and Banking Statistics along the left hand side.)

The Bank are also now releasing figures that make the underlying credit situation easier to understand. Detailed figures on lending to households and non-financial corporations, including a breakdown by duration, are now available. The charts on year-over-year lending to firms and households in the press release are based on levels series that are cleaned for factors such as NAMA or exchange rate adjustments that affect the figures for total loans on the reported aggregate bank balance sheets.

Most useful of all, to my mind, is that the Bank now publishes figures for net amounts of new lending (i.e. new lending minus loans paid off) for both firms and households. For example, go to spreadsheet A.5 and click on the tab labelled Transactions and you’ll see these figures broken down by sector and maturity.

These figures are quite volatile from month to month. However, I ran up a chart (see below) of the three month moving average of net new lending to firms and households and it makes it pretty clear that there was a step down in credit availability in late 2008 and that net new lending has been negative for most of the past two years.

This time last year we were inundated with government politicians telling us that NAMA was going to get credit flowing. Well, there’s very little evidence of this occurring yet.

The New Banking Data for Ireland

The aggregate banking data for Ireland has been difficult to interpret due to the large volume of international banking activity that is routed through Dublin but which has little to do with the domestic financial system. In a welcome development, the Central Bank has re-organised how it publishes the aggregate banking data. In addition to publishing data for ‘all credit institutions’, it now also publishes data for ‘credit institutions (domestic group)’.  Data and explanations are available here.

In approximate terms for June 2010, the domestic group accounts for 59 percent of the aggregate balance sheet of all credit institutions but 87 percent of domestic deposits and 87 percent of domestic loans (94 percent of loans to domestic private sector).