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  • 2010/05/18
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With total loans outstanding of 1,126 billion euros at end-2009 the European Union represents nearly a quarter of the global consumer credit market.

Paris, 18 May 2010

With total loans outstanding of 1,126 billion euros at end-2009 the European Union represents nearly a quarter of the global consumer credit market.

For the fourth year running, the Consumer Credit Overview from Sofinco, a brand of Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance, has produced a report on consumer credit in the 27 countries of the European Union.

The 1,126 billion euros in loans outstanding in the European Union are unequally spread: five countries — namely the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy — account for 74 per cent of the total, compared to 63 per cent of the European Union’s total population.
Over the course of 2009, Italy overtook Spain moving into fourth place in terms of total loans outstanding.

The European Union may be considered as three blocks:

  • Northern Europe, with 57 per cent of total loans outstanding (for 41 per cent of EU population);
  • Southern Europe, including France, with 36 per cent of total loans outstanding and 38 per cent of population;
  • Eastern Europe, with 7 per cent of total loans outstanding and 21 per cent of population.

As a result of the recession, the European Union has seen a slowing in consumer credit growth. Although total loans outstanding at end-2009 were similar to end-2008 figures, the annual growth rate in 2009 was 4.5 points lower than in 2008.

At end-2009, average loans outstanding per capita in the European Union were 2,270 euros. There are significant disparities across the 27 member states, with the figure ranging from 300 euros per head in Lithuania to more than 5,300 euros in Ireland. In the European Union consumer credit represents 18 per cent of total household borrowing (consumer credit plus mortgage borrowing).

Total loans outstanding at end-2009 represented 16.4 per cent of total annual household consumption in the European Union.

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