The implications of foreign currency lending in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe (CESEE) for macroeconomic and financial stability were being debated already before the global economic and financial crisis. When the crisis hit the CESEE region, it triggered exchange rate fluctuations and strained the financial situation of households. Concerns that a rising number of households would not be able to pay back their foreign currency loans increasingly brought the risks of foreign currency lending to the attention of policymakers.
The OeNB Euro Survey complements aggregate statistics and allows us to identify causal relationships. For instance, the survey data are used to examine individual plans to take out a loan, individual motivation to take out a foreign currency loan and the role of banks, the risk awareness of foreign currency borrowers or analyze the causes of arrears.
The following charts present results on the frequency of having a loan in local currency or foreign currency, the purpose of all loans, the purpose of the largest, most important loan, as well as respondents’ plans to take out a loan within the next year and the purpose of these planned loans.
- Frequency of having a loan in local currency or foreign currency (left chart, biannual averages across time), purpose of all loans (middle chart, average 2017–2018) and purpose of the largest, most important loan (right chart, average 2017-2018). For details see Beckmann, Scheiber and Stix, 2011)
- Respondents’ plans to take out a loan within the next year (left chart). Of which: share of respondents planning to take out a foreign currency loan (right chart), biannual averages
- Purpose for planned loans: for housing (left chart), for consumption (right chart), biannual averages