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FMA Survey on Foreign Currency Loans in Q4 2018: percentage of loans to households denominated in foreign currencies falls to below 10% again

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The outstanding volume of foreign currency loans (FX lending) to private households fell by EUR 1.82 billion or -11.2% adjusted for exchange rate effects in 2018. During the 4th Quarter alone, the amount fell by EUR 470 million or -3.1% 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 32.80 billion or -70.50% adjusted for exchange rate effects. In absolute figures there are outstanding loans denominated in foreign currencies to private households with a current value of € 14.82 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 2018.

“In the past ten years, we have limited the risk from foreign currency loans and loans with repayment vehicles in a consistent, successful and sustainable manner. Consequently that are no longer shocks for the stability of individual institutions, since provisions have already been made accordingly for the residual risks”, the FMA’s Executive Directors Helmut Ettl and Klaus Klaus Kumpfmüller remarked: “We will continue to pursue this path, in order to also limit the risk as far as possible for funding gaps that continue to exist for foreign currency loans with repayment vehicles in the coming years.”

The proportion of foreign currency loans of outstanding loans to private households were able to be reduced by 1.3% to 9.6%. Compared with the height of the foreign currency loan boom, where this share stood at 31.8%, it has fallen from approximately one-third to under one-tenth. As of year-end 2018, 96.2% 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 46.8% up until 31 December 2018 against the euro; in the fourth quarter of 2018, the exchange rate varied between 1.1227 and 1.1470, following the removal of the minimum exchange rate floor of 1.20 in January 2015.

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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