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Eurozone Banks Unexpectedly Eased Credit Standards For Businesses In Q3 - ECB

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Euro area banks slightly eased the credit standards for loans to enterprises and those to households for house purchase in the third quarter, data from the third quarter euro area bank lending survey from the European Central Bank showed on Tuesday.

Banks had expected them to remain broadly unchanged in the previous survey.

The slight easing in credit standards on loans to enterprises was largely driven by the impact of competition, mainly from other banks, except in Germany.

Meanwhile, risk perceptions, related to a deterioration in the general economic and firm-specific situation, continued to exert pressure in the opposite direction, the ECB said.

Among the big area countries, credit standards for lending to businesses eased in Italy and the Netherlands, while slightly tightened in France and Germany. Credit conditions were unchanged in spain.

Looking ahead, banks expect no change in credit standards for loans to businesses in the fourth quarter.

Demand for loans to businesses were largely unchanged in the third quarter, while that was expected to increase in the previous survey. Banks expect loan demand to remain broadly unchanged in the fourth quarter.

For housing loans, competitive pressure and lower risk perceptions were the main drivers behind the latest easing in credit standards, the survey said. Credit standards are expected to remain unchanged in the final three months of the year.

Lower interest rates and favorable market prospects substantially boosted the demand for housing loans in the third quarter. The increase was above the historical average and higher than banks expected in the previous survey.

Euro area banks expect a continued increase in net demand for housing loans in the fourth quarter.

Credit standards for consumer credit and other lending to households continued to tighten in the third quarter, defying expectations for a net easing. These are expected to remain largely unchanged in the fourth quarter.

Demand for consumer credit and other lending increased in the third quarter and are expected to continue to increase in the final three months of the year.

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