ECB: credit standards on EZ loans eased for the first time since 2007

The ECB said standards were relaxed across all categories in the second quarter of this year and that net demand continues to recover for both household and enterprise borrowing. Banks also told the ECB in the survey that they were strengthening their capital positions and reported a slight increase in risk-weighted assets.

“For the first time since the second quarter of 2007, euro area banks reported a net easing of credit standards on loans to enterprises, with a net percentage of -3%, compared with a marginal net tightening of credit standards in the previous quarter,” the ECB said. “In addition, euro area banks’ access to funding improved in net terms for all main market instruments.”

The BLS results were based on the answers of 137 banks. The survey was conducted between June 26 and July 11.

“Only a major disappointment would put the debate over credit easing back on the ECB’s agenda, particularly after the June monetary developments report showed a more encouraging picture for monthly flows of bank credit. In addition, the survey was conducted between mid-June and mid-July, after the ECB announced its easing package and credit conditions could have benefit from these announcements. On balance, we believe that these releases should comfort the ECB in its wait-and-see stance for now,” analysts at Crédit Agricole commented on Monday.

Lending to euro-area households and companies declined for the 26th consecutive month in June, the ECB said on July 25, with a 1.7 percent contraction from a year earlier.

About the Author

Ana Fuentes
Columnist for El País and a contributor to SER (Sociedad Española de Radiodifusión), was the first editor-in-chief of The Corner. Currently based in Madrid, she has been a correspondent in New York, Beijing and Paris for several international media outlets such as Prisa Radio, Radio Netherlands or CNN en español. Ana holds a degree in Journalism from the Complutense University in Madrid and the Sorbonne University in Paris, and a Master's in Journalism from Spanish newspaper El País.

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