Today, so-called FX loans pose no threat to the stability of the Austrian financial market or to individual credit institutions
The volume of foreign currency loans continued to decline in the 2020 corona year. At the end of the year, there were still 11.2 billion euros in foreign currency loans to private households, which corresponds to a decrease of 15.5 percent or 2.1 billion euros compared to the previous year, the Financial Market Authority (FMA) announced on Monday. In the fourth quarter alone, the decline was 5.0 percent or 0.6 billion euros.
Since the ban on granting new foreign currency loans in autumn 2008, the volume has thus been reduced by 37 billion or 78.5 percent. The foreign currency volume marked its peak in 2006 at 38.8 billion euros. At that time, almost a third (31.8 percent) of all loans were in foreign currencies. At the end of 2020 it was only 6.8 percent, in the course of the previous year the share was reduced by 1.5 percentage points. According to the FMA, the majority (96.4 percent) is denominated in Swiss francs, the rest in Japanese yen.
“Today, FX loans do not pose a threat to the stability of the Austrian financial market or to individual credit institutions,” said FMA board members Helmut Ettl and Eduard Müller, according to the broadcast. “The massive and unpredictable economic turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic confirms how important it was to consistently and sustainably drive forward the reduction of outstanding foreign currency and repayment vehicle loans.”