The Costa Rica Central Bank’s projection that credit to the private sector will grow by 3.6%, after a decline of -0.1% last year, is a more than achievable objective according to the banking sector and financial cooperatives.
In fact, the commercial strategy of financial institutions will focus this year on supporting the activities and affected customers, with the purpose of giving a hand to the effort to reactivate the economy, as confirmed by the entity.
“Credit is the almost immediate catalyst for the recovery of economic activity. We have made estimates where for each percentage point increase in the credit growth rate, a GDP growth of 0.15% is seen the year after,” said Allan Calderón, Deputy Manager of Credit and Risk Banco Nacional.
Several factors have made credit conditions more attractive since last year, from the decrease in the Monetary Policy Rate, which was reduced three times the previous year, to the historical low of 0.75% per annum, to the financing facilities of the Central Bank.
At that last point, ¢ 842,887 million were released to financial entities in exchange for providing loans to debtors with payment needs (extensions, readjustments or refinancing) or fresh resource requirements. This has resulted in aspects such as reductions in the amounts of the fees to be paid.
Recovery through credit
Hence, options arise for specific sectors that would demand more credit for their recovery, such as transport, hotels and all businesses related to tourism, as well as SMEs, for which the entities focus part of their plans.
And although, these conditions already began to appear the previous year, and in this 2021 the entities expect them to be taken advantage of due to the increase in confidence. This improvement is related to the advancement of the vaccination process and the lower circulation restrictions and commercial closures experienced in 2020, among the most mentioned factors.