Supply, demand for loans in Chile remains tight -cenbank poll

miércoles 13 de enero de 2016 15:21 GYT

SANTIAGO Jan 13 (Reuters) - Supply and demand for loans in Chile remained tight in the final three months of 2015, with economic growth still sluggish and consumer and business sentiment shrouded in pessimism, a quarterly central bank poll on credit showed on Wednesday.

Thirty-nine percent of banks polled said supply conditions for home loans were more restrictive and 27 percent said the same of consumer credit.

For big businesses, 41 percent of banks said financing conditions had become tighter, while for small-and-medium-sized firms that number was 27 percent.

Real-estate companies found it harder to access loans in the fourth quarter, according to 42 percent of banks surveyed.

Demand for consumer credit was also slowing, according to 33 percent of those polled. Forty-one percent of banks said loan demand from big business was softer in the fourth quarter.

Not all was doom and gloom, with the share of banks seeing improved demand for home loans jumping to 46 percent, from 23 percent in the prior three-month period.

On the supply side, the number of banks that saw tightened loan conditions for construction companies fell 10 percentage points to 29 percent.

Consumers rushed to buy apartments and homes before planned tax changes that would boost real-estate costs took effect in 2016.

Santander Chile and Banco de Chile are the country's largest banks. (Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Anthony Esposito and Leslie Adler)