Euro area bank lending survey

The euro area bank lending survey (BLS) provides information on bank lending conditions in the euro area. It supplements existing statistics with information on the supply of and demand for loans to enterprises and households. The BLS provides input to the assessment of monetary and economic developments carried out by the ECB Governing Council in the process of making its monetary policy decisions.

The BLS is conducted four times a year, and published in January, April, July and October.

2018 Q3
Bank Lending Survey
2018 Q3
Survey results
Credit Standards

In the third quarter of 2018, credit standards eased further for loans to enterprises and less so for loans to households for house purchase.

Loan Demand

Demand for loans by firms and households increased.

ECB Asset Purchases

The ECB’s asset purchases continued to support bank lending volumes.

About the survey

The euro area bank lending survey (BLS) was launched by the Eurosystem in 2003. Its main objective is to enhance the Eurosystem’s knowledge of bank lending conditions in the euro area. It provides information on the lending policies of euro area banks and supplements existing statistics on loans and bank lending rates with information on the supply of and demand for loans to enterprises and households. The BLS provides input to the assessment of monetary and economic developments carried out by the ECB Governing Council in the process of making its monetary policy decisions.

The BLS is conducted four times a year and addressed to senior loan officers of a representative sample of euro area banks, comprising around 150 institutions representing all euro area countries, and takes into account the characteristics of the respective national banking structures.

Results by country
Availability in the Statistical Data Warehouse
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
FI NO NO not published

* 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.

Questionnaire and glossary

This glossary defines the most important terminology used in the bank lending survey to assist respondent banks in filling out the questionnaire.

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 includes an open-ended question with space for participating banks to respond.

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 purchases, on the one hand, and consumer credit and other lending, on the other.