During the 1st quarter of 2019, the outstanding volume of foreign currency loans to private households compared with the previous quarter fell by – 3.2% or – € 480 million, or by almost € 2 billion (–12.3%) in comparison with the 1st quarter of 2018. The outstanding volume has decreased by -71.4% adjusted for exchange rate effects since its high point in 2008. In absolute terms there are still however € 14.46 billion outstanding in foreign currency loans. The proportion of foreign currency loans to the total loans granted to households has already fallen below one-tenth (9.3%), at its height it was almost one-third (31.8%). 96.1% of foreign currency loans are denominated in Swiss Franc, with 3.6% in Japanese Yen. Since the start of 2008 the Swiss France has strengthened by 48% against the Euro. During the 1st quarter of 2019, the Swiss Franc exchange rate varied between CHF 1.1181 and CHF 1.1436 to the Euro. These were the findings of the FMA’s survey on the development of foreign currency loans in the first quarter of 2019.
“We will continue to pursue a consistent course of action of sustainably reducing the volume of foreign currency loans to private households that are still outstanding. Ultimately the financial crisis and currency turbulence have clearly shown that the cumulative risks attached to this form of financing can hardly be controlled for consumers and cause enormous costs,“ the FMA’s Executive Directors, Helmut Ettl and Klaus Kumpfmüller remark. “Our strategy therefore remains to limit risks for consumers in a consequent manner.”
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