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Poland's credit growth unlikely to reach double digits in 2014, despite bankers hopes - MPC member

February 16, 2014

Poland's credit growth is accelerating, but is unlikely to reach double figures in 2014, a member of the Monetary Policy Council (MPC), the central bank's rate setting committee, told IntelliNews.

Following six quarters of decline, lending to individuals expanded at an annual rate of 16% in the fourth quarter of last year, according to figures published on Tuesday by Biuro Informacji Kredytowej, a credit-information body. While mortgage sales were down 6% in 2013 on a year earlier, the last quarter of the year saw a 13% expansion over the previous quarter. The latter figures suggests mortgage lending is likely to enjoy brisk growth this year, the MPC member said.

Bankers expect brisk credit growth in 2014 with lending across the board rising "at least in the high single digits", Fernando Bicho, the deputy chief executive of Bank Millennium, told IntelliNews. PKO BP, Poland's largest bank, also thinks double-digit growth likely, Pawel Borys, an executive at the bank, told IntelliNews.

The National Bank of Poland (NBP) believes, however, that total loan growth will fall short of 10%, the MPC member said. Corporate lending is likely to remain "slow" in the first half of the year before "probably picking up" towards the end of 2014.

The expected pace of credit growth, while a closely watched metric, is not seen as a cause of concern by monetary policymakers at this point in time, the MPC source said.

by Aleksander Nowacki in Warsaw

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Source: IntelliNews - Weekly Reports

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