FMA Q4 2017 Survey on Foreign Currency Loans: share of foreign currency loans to households now 10.8%

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The outstanding volume of foreign currency loans (FX lending) to private households fell by EUR 3.38 billion or -16.4% adjusted for exchange rate effects in 2017. During the 4th Quarter alone, the amount fell by EUR 690 million or -4% compared to the preceding quarter. Consequently, since the introduction of the ban on granting of new loans in the autumn of 2008 and the accompanying measures to limit risk, the outstanding volume of foreign currency loans (FX lending) to private households has fallen by EUR 30.97 billion or 66.7% adjusted for exchange rate effects. In absolute figures there are outstanding loans denominated in foreign currencies to private households with a current value of € 16.07 billion; at their peak in 2006, this amount stood at € 38.8 billion. These were the findings of the FMA’s Survey on Foreign Currency Loans in Q4 2017.

“Our consistent strategy to limit risk emanating from foreign currency loans for private households is sustainably effective. 175,000 families are now able to sleep easier, as they have already changed from foreign-currency based financing. We remain convinced that together with Austria’s credit institutions we will also be able to implement appropriate measures for the remaining 95,000 affected households for limiting risks”, commented FMA Executive Board members Helmut Ettl and Klaus Kumpfmüller.

The share of foreign currency loans in relation to all outstanding household loans stood at 10.8% as at year-end 2017, a decrease of 3.7% year-on-year. Compared with the height of the foreign currency loan boom, where this share stood at 31.8%, falling from approximately one-third to around one-tenth. As of year-end 2017, 96.1% of the volume of the amount owed for loans in foreign currencies was for loans denominated in Swiss franc (CHF), with the remaining amount almost exclusively in Japanese yen (JPY).

Since the start of 2008, the Swiss franc (CHF) appreciated by 41.4% up until 31 December 2017 against the euro; in the fourth quarter of 2017, the exchange rate varied between 1.1399 and 1.1772, following the removal of the minimum exchange rate floor of 1.20 in January 2016.

Journalists may address further enquiries to:

Klaus Grubelnik (FMA Media Spokesperson):

+43/(0)1/24959-6006, or +43/(0)676/882 49 516

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