The National Development Bank’s (NDBP) loan portfolio increased by 43 percent or over $7 million from 2015 to 2018, assisted by the housing demand and commercial lending.

In a speech before the opening of the Senate’s April session on Tuesday, NDBP President Claire Harvey said the growth of NDBP’s loan portfolio “is contributing to the Palau economy by assisting the business community to grow.”

She told the senators that from 2015, the bank’s loan portfolio was in the amount of $16,096, 355 and in 2018 it grew to about $23,167,054.

Harvey said the growth is significant and shows that NDBP is lending more to help Palauans obtain their own home.

“NDBP has achieved significant success in assisting homeowners and businesses over the past 2 years,” she said.

From 2017 to 2018, NDP has approved loans amounting to $24,102,498 with over 400 customers helped.

During that two-year period, most loans are given to businesses, housing, bonds and agricultural and aquaculture sectors. In housing alone, a total of $7 million loans were approved.

The NDBP also has a high loan approval rate of over 90 percent of all loan application received being approved.

She added that NDBP provides 41 percent of the total loans made to borrowers in Palau.

“This is important to note as NDBP has virtually all the housing loans and takes on lending risks that other banks don’t.”

NDBP provides 100 percent housing finance, financing business start-ups with no track record.

For commercial banks in Palau and NDBP, total lending for year-end September 30, 2018, totals approximately $56.6 Million.

Harvey said with the prospect of a growing economy this year and 2020, NDBP is planning to further increase in lending activity.

She said in order to achieve a further boost in the economy, NBDP will need the support of the Senate.

“With the rapid growth over the past two years and in order for NDBP to continue growing and contributing to the success of Palau and its people, NDBP is going to need a significant injection of equity rather than funding its growth through borrowing. The support of the Senate will be critical to obtaining an equity injection,” she said.  (By Bernadette H. Carreon)