Credit Trends

Aug 02, 2010 (LBO) – The number of credit cards issued by Sri Lanka’s banks picked up slightly in May 2010 from the previous month but total credit contracted as banks remained cautious, latest data showed. Total credit given through cards fell to 29.9 billion rupees in May 2010 from 30.2 billion in April 2010 as banks continued to focus on recovering credit. Although banks have begun to issue new credit cards after a steady contraction seen during 2009, when the economic downturn reduced borrowings and increased default, they still remain below last year’s levels.

The total number of active cards grew by 1,129 cards in May 2010 to 827,280, from 826,151 in April, but was below the end-December 2009 level of 840,509, Central Bank data showed.

The number of active credit cards in February 2010 had been 843,506.

The slight increase in the number of cards in May was in both local as well as globally accepted cards.