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Bankers forecast high loan interest in 2010

12 January 2010 / 09:01:57  GRReporter
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Experts from the banking circles predict a record low in consumer credit demand in Greece throughout 2010. According to experts, the number of loans will sharply decrease this year due to the increase in the reference interest rates of the European Central Bank (ECB) and EURIBOR. After a three month drop, on Friday EURIBOR reached a record low of 0.691 percent, which according to experts is the starting point for a new increase of the indicator in the following six months. 

Bank of Greece announced that in November 2009 the average interest rate on home loans fell to 3.99 percent from 4.85 percent in 2008. The reason is the decline of the base rate throughout last year. In short-term consumer loans the reduction in interest rate is smaller than an average or from 14.10% to 12.88%. Many households saw a market opportunity and took advantage of "refinancing" their responsibilities or drawing a new loan with better terms and lower interest rates (from 8.15% to 9.62%), which will cover their old debt with higher interest rates. 

The prospect of raising the reference interest rates and increasing costs of loans, combined with the expected increase in tax burden and a decline in income of individuals (part of PASOK government’s measures to restore economic stability in the country) will limit demand for loans in 2010. From the given €230 billion in loans in 2009, €18 billion are obligations that are covered with a delay. According to data published in the Financial Stability Report by Bank of Greece, the delay in repaying obligations accounts for €6 billion mortgage loans, €5 billion in consumer loans and €7 billion in business loans. The assessment of bankers says that this value would have been much higher if the ability to transfer credits with advantageous interest rates, was not presented on the banking market.

Tags: European Central Bank Interest rate loan credit Economy in Greece
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