Saudi Arabia's National Commercial Bank (NCB) has said increase in lending by local lenders has propelled the loans-to-deposits ratio to its highest level in nearly three years, Saudi Gazette has reported. Deposits with the kingdom's 12 banks swelled by more than 10% year-on-year in August, yet the growth was outpaced by domestic credit, NCB said in its report. Total claims of the country's banking sector, excluding T-bills and government bonds, surged by around 15.6% to SR960.9bn at the end of August, it said. "The pickup in lending has outpaced the flow of deposits which led to the improvement in the loans-to-deposits ratio to reach 83.2%, the highest since April 2009," the report said. "This will support banks in growing their profit levels which have already made a strong recovery from the financial crisis."