Access To Funds Set To Tighten As Loans To Households And Businesses Fall

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Lending to Irish households and businesses fell in the year to the end of September and the European Central Bank has said it expects access to funds to tighten further in the coming months, the Irish Times reported. Figures released by the Central Bank of Ireland yesterday show that loans to Irish households were 3.7 per cent lower in the 12 months to September 30th. The monthly rate of decline was unchanged in September, with an €88 million fall in lending during the month. Lending for house purchases was 2 per cent lower on an annual basis in September, and loans for consumption and other purposes fell by 8.4 per cent during the same period, the bank said. Loans for consumption and other purposes fell by €99 million on a monthly basis in September, while loans for house purchases increased by €11 million in the year to September. Lending to Irish resident non-financial corporations was down 4.2 per cent in the year to the end of September, compared to a decline of 3.2 per cent recorded a month earlier. Loans to these businesses decreased by €358 million during September on a monthly basis, following on from a fall of €234 million a month earlier. An ECB survey published yesterday found that lenders across the euro zone had made it harder for firms to borrow in the third quarter. The ECB expects loan requirements to tighten further in the coming months, even though it found funding constraints on banks had eased. A net 15 per cent of euro zone banks that took part in the ECB survey tightened their criteria for firms to borrow in the third quarter, up from 10 per cent in the second quarter. Read more.