Euro area bank lending survey
The results are reported from the perspective of the specific month in which the bank lending survey was conducted, i.e. January, April, July or October.
Euro area bank lending survey
|Country||Diffusion indices||Net percentages||Link to NCB website publication|
|BE||YES||YES||National Bank of Belgium website|
|DE||YES||YES||Deutsche Bundesbank website|
|EE||YES||YES||Eesti Pank website|
|IE||YES||YES||Central Bank of Ireland website|
|GR||YES||YES||Bank of Greece website|
|ES||YES||YES||Banco de España website|
|FR*||YES||YES||Banque de France website|
|IT||YES||YES||Banca d'Italia website|
|CY||YES (from April 2009)||YES (from April 2009)||Central Bank of Cyprus website|
|LV||YES||YES||Latvijas Banka website|
|LT||YES||YES||Lietuvos bankas website|
|LU||YES||YES||Banque Centrale du Luxembourg website|
|MT*||YES||YES||Central Bank of Malta website|
|NL*||YES||YES||De Nederlandsche Bank website
BLS information in table T5.5
|AT||YES||YES||Oesterreichische Nationalbank website|
|PT||YES||YES||Banco do Portugal website|
|SI||YES||YES||national BLS results published only on SDW|
|SK*||YES (from April 2013)||YES (from April 2013)||Národná banka Slovenska website|
* The results for France, Malta, the Netherlands and Slovakia available in the SDW are weighted by the share of the outstanding amount of loans issued by each bank in the respective national BLS sample in the total outstanding amount of loans issued by all banks in the national sample.
The bank lending survey (BLS) for the euro area was launched in 2003. Its main objective is to enhance the Eurosystem’s knowledge of financing conditions in the euro area. The BLS provides input to the ECB Governing Council’s assessment of monetary and economic developments, on which it bases its monetary policy decisions.
The BLS complements existing statistics on loans and bank lending rates with information on supply and demand conditions in the euro area credit markets. It provides information on the lending policies of euro area banks. Issues the survey addresses include the credit standards banks apply when approving loans, the terms and conditions of new loans to enterprises and households and an assessment of demand for bank loans.
Frequency and scope of the BLS
The BLS is conducted four times a year. It is addressed to senior loan officers of a representative sample of euro area banks.
The sample group comprises around 140 banks from all euro area countries and takes into account the characteristics of each country’s national banking structures.
To enhance the information content of the survey, a revised BLS questionnaire and compilation guide were published in April 2015.
The bank lending survey (BLS) contains 22 standard questions on past and expected credit market developments. Past developments cover the previous three-month period, while expected developments focus on the following three-month period. Overall, the BLS includes 18 backward and 4 forward-looking questions, in order to capture both recent and expected developments. The BLS also provides space for participating banks to give their response to an open-ended question.
In addition, it may contain ad hoc questions on specific topics of interest.
The questions are classified according to the two borrower sectors that are the focus of the survey, i.e. enterprises and households. Loans to households are broken down into loans for house purchase and consumer credit and other lending.
The definitions and classifications used in the survey are consistent with other ECB statistics. For both enterprises, i.e. non-financial corporations, and households, the questionnaire covers loan supply and loan demand factors.
Loan supply factors
Loan supply factors addressed by the BLS focus on credit standards and credit terms and conditions, and the various factors that may have caused them to change.
Credit standards are the internal guidelines or loan approval criteria of a bank. They are established before the negotiation on the terms and conditions of a loan begins and the loan application is approved or rejected.
Credit terms and conditions refer to the terms and conditions of the loan, once approved, as laid down in the loan contract between the bank (the lender) and the borrower. They include, for instance, the loan margin, collateral required and maturity.
The BLS also includes questions asking banks to assess how specific factors affect the credit standards they apply when approving loans to enterprises and households and how these factors affect the terms and conditions of new loans granted to them.
Loan demand factors
In terms of loan demand and the various factors that may affect it, the BLS focuses on the need of enterprises and households for bank loan financing, irrespective of whether or not a loan is actually granted.
In addition to the questions on loan demand, banks are asked to assess the impact of various factors related to the financing needs of enterprises and households and the use of alternative means of financing.
To assist respondent banks in filling out the questionnaire, this glossary defines the most important terminology used in the bank lending survey.