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Brazil's 2020 bank lending grew at fastest since 2012

·1 min read

SAO PAULO, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Brazil's bank lending grew by 15.4% in 2020, its fastest pace since 2012, a survey by the country's banking lobby association Febraban released on Thursday showed.

The growth was driven by loans to cash-starved companies, seeking money to help them weather the economic crisis stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The corporate loan book surged 21.7% in 2020, while loans to individuals went up 10.8%, the survey, which covered 68% of the country's lending book, found.

The growth was mainly boosted by credit lines launched by the government in response to the pandemic, Febraban said, especially for companies. New disbursements for companies secured by the government doubled from 2019, it added.

In December, total loan book growth was 1.5%, the eighth consecutive month of growth, with both individuals and companies growing at the same pace.

(Reporting by Carolina Mandl; editing by Barbara Lewis)