Ontario and British Columbia consumers have shown robust credit activity in the second quarter of 2016 with delinquency levels stable and balances rising modestly.

A report by TransUnion shows that Canadians’ non-mortgage debt reached $21,580 in the first 6 months of the year, up 2.9 per cent from the same period in 2015. Ontario (3.1 per cent) and BC (2 per cent) saw the largest rises in balance. The balance of debt was highest in Alberta though at $27,583.

Delinquency rates were sharply higher in Alberta with a 14.7 per cent rise year-over-year to 3.08 per cent; in Saskatchewan there was an 11.59 per cent rise to 3.38 per cent; and in Quebec delinquencies were up 5.33 per cent to 2.12 per cent. Elsewhere the figures decreased.

The rise in non-mortgage delinquency rates in the oil patches was not unexpected and Jason Wang, TransUnion’s director of research and analysis in Canada commented: “A year and a half into the oil slump, the lending industry has deployed resources in monitoring and managing the risks in the oil patch. With these risks being actively managed, it may benefit lenders to also consider growth opportunities in the non-oil provinces, such as Ontario and British Columbia. The key of course is for lenders to always seek balance in their lending strategies.”

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