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SBIF: Chileans slightly more indebted in 2016 vs 2015, but credit growth slows

The total debt held by Chileans rose 7.4% in June 2016 compared to the same month a year ago, but the average level of debt of Chilean households remained relatively stable, according to data from banking regulator SBIF.

On average, debtors owed 1.6 million Chilean pesos in June, up just 0.7% from a year earlier.

The head of SBIF, Eric Parrado, reportedly said in a press conference that the reason is lenders and borrowers are both more cautious in 2016 compared to the previous year given the uncertain economic environment, Diario Financiero reported.

As a result, growth rates for both consumer loans and mortgages have fallen in 2016 compared to a year ago, Parrado said in a press conference.

The average level of indebtedness of Chilean debtors reached 16.72% of their monthly income in June 2016, down from 16.78% in June 2015, according to the SBIF report. In addition, debtors were leveraged up to 2.92x their monthly income, compared to 2.98x a year ago.

In this new version of its report, SBIF surveyed 5 million debtors, representing 79% of the total number, and included debtors with nonbank credit cards.

As of Dec. 14, US$1 was equivalent to 656.10 Chilean pesos.