PRESS RELEASE

Bank lending survey for the euro area

21 November 2002

Today, the Governing Council of the ECB decided to introduce a bank lending survey for the euro area. The survey is addressed to senior loan officers of a representative sample of euro area banks and will be conducted four times a year. The sample group of banks participating in the survey comprises around 90 banks from all euro area countries and takes into account the characteristics of their respective national banking structures.

The main objective of the survey is to enhance the Eurosystem's knowledge of financing conditions in the euro area. Experiences with the use of bank lending surveys by other central banks have shown that this instrument can provide important additional information for the assessment of financial and economic developments and the formulation of monetary policy.

The survey will take the form of a questionnaire containing qualitative questions on past and expected future developments regarding lending policies. The questionnaire will deal with issues such as credit standards for approving loans as well as credit terms and conditions applied to enterprises and households. It will also ask for assessments of the conditions affecting credit demand.

The implementation of the bank lending survey will start in early 2003. Further information will be made public as soon as the survey has become operational.

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