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The European consumer credit market in 2010:1,105 billion euros in loans outstanding
Sofinco, a Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance brand, has published the findings of its survey of the consumer credit market in 27 European Union countries (EU-27) for the fourth year running.
With a total of 1,105 billion euros in loans outstanding at end-2010, the EU accounts for nearly one quarter of the global credit market. However, the loans are unevenly distributed, with five countries – the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain – accounting for 76 per cent of the total (but 63 per cent of the total EU population). The EU can be divided into three zones:
- Northern Europe, which accounts for 56 per cent of total loans outstanding and 41 per cent of the EU population;
- Southern Europe (including France), with 37 per cent of total loans outstanding and 39 per cent of the EU population;
- Eastern Europe, with 7 per cent of total loans outstanding and 20 per cent of the EU population.
The European consumer credit market continued to contract in 2010, with a 2.8 per cent decline in outstandings between December 2009 and December 2010. All three zones showed negative trends during that period, with -3.0 per cent for Northern Europe, -2.4 per cent for Southern Europe and -3.9 per cent for Eastern Europe. However, there were differences between certain markets that saw steep falls in loans outstanding, such as Ireland (-17 per cent), Spain (-11 per cent), and others such as Slovakia (+9 per cent) and Belgium (+2 per cent) that were resilient.
At the end of 2010, the average outstanding loan per EU inhabitant stood at 2,220 euros, down 3.1 per cent on the 2009 figure of 2,290 euros. This decline is apparent in almost all European countries, but there are marked differences within the EU, ranging from 270 euros per head in Lithuania to nearly 4,500 euros in Ireland (which saw a sharp 17 per cent drop in 2010). Consumer credit accounts for 17 per cent of total household debt in the EU.
The ratio of loans outstanding to total annual household consumption sheds light on the actual penetration rate of consumer credit. At the end of 2010, loans outstanding represented 15.4 per cent of annual household consumption in the EU-27, compared with 16.4 per cent in 2009.
Download the survey from www.ca-consumerfinance.com