Banks’ credit standards remained broadly unchanged for loans to firms and for housing loans in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Demand for loans by firms and households continued to increase, but banks expect some moderation in demand.
Banks’ non-performing loan (NPL) ratios had a tightening impact on their credit standards over the past six months.
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.
|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.
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.