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Biannual Survey of Suppliers of Business Financing, first half of 2018

Released: 2018-11-08

Value of credit outstanding

$877.5 billion

January 2018

Overall business financing

Suppliers of business financing reported that outstanding credit granted to Canadian corporations rose $43.4 billion (+5.2%) from the second half of 2017 to $877.5 billion at the end of the first half of 2018.

Compared with the same period last year, total business credit outstanding increased by $64.3 billion.

The Bank of Canada's Senior Loan Office Survey reported an ease in overall business credit conditions, mainly driven by price conditions. The survey lists competition among banks and capital markets and higher demand for credit by corporations as other reasons for easing lending conditions.

Total credit outstanding

Total business credit outstanding increased for borrowers in every industry sector. Real estate and rental and leasing led the growth, up $7.9 billion (+4.7%) to $175.1 billion in the first half of 2018. Manufacturing followed closely, rising $7.4 billion (+11.6%) to $70.8 billion.

The growth in outstanding credit for the real estate and rental and leasing industry was consistent with the data for the second quarter of 2018 from the Quarterly Survey of Financial Statements, which show that borrowings for this industry increased 2.1% in the first half of 2018 compared with the second half of 2017.

According to a report by CBRE, a commercial real estate firm, the first half of 2018 saw the largest commercial real estate investment on record.

The growth in outstanding loans for the manufacturing industry was in line with data published by Statistics Canada's Non-residential Capital and Repair Expenditures Survey, which reported an increase in investment spending intentions for manufacturers in 2018.

A survey conducted by RK Insights for Plant Magazine states that Canadian manufacturers are optimistic about investment opportunities in 2018. Most of its respondents are seeking financing based on a positive outlook over the next three years.

Total business credit outstanding for an account authorization level of $5 million or more led the increase, up $38.9 billion or 6.8%.

Credit outstanding by instrument

Total term credit, which includes term loans and mortgages loans, increased $27.5 billion (+5.4%) to $540.1 billion at the end of the first half of 2018.

The majority of the increase came from loans provided by major domestic banks (+$13.8 billion), followed by other banks, including foreign banks (+$4.9 billion), and credit unions, and caisses populaires (+$3.2 billion).

Chart 1  Chart 1: Percentage change of term credit
Percentage change of term credit

Operating credit, which includes credit cards and lines of credits, increased $16.0 billion (+5.0%). Major domestic banks were responsible for 84.1% of this increase.


Total term credit disbursed during the first half of 2018 rose by $10.9 billion (+9.0%) compared with the second half of 2017 to $131.6 billion.

Lending to other primary industries, which include mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction, contributed the most to this growth, rising $3.1 billion (+30.8%) to $13.3 billion. Lending to finance and insurance companies followed, up $2.3 billion (+13.4%) to $19.1 billion.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Change in term disbursements
Change in term disbursements

More than half of lending was disbursed by major domestic banks, accounting for $72.2 billion in the first half of 2018.

Total term disbursed for an account authorization level of $5 million or more was the main driver for growth, up $9.5 billion or 10.7%.


Total business credit in arrears fell 6.4% (-$0.2 billion) to $2.9 billion for the first half of 2018, compared with $3.1 billion in the second half of 2017.

Credit accounts with an authorization level of $1 million to $4.9 million made up the highest percentage of arrears, accounting for 35.2% of the total.

  Note to readers

Data from the Biannual Survey of Suppliers of Business Financing have been revised for the first half of 2017.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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