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Serbia, The population’s demand for loans has decreased

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The population’s demand for loans decreased during the last quarter of 2022, which was influenced by the rise in real estate prices and the labor market, and the continuation of the same tendencies is expected in the first quarter of this year. 

This was shown by the Report on the results of the January survey on bank credit activity, published by the National Bank of Serbia, in which it is stated that the banks confirmed that in the fourth quarter of 2022 they continued to tighten the standards by which they approved loans to the economy. It is emphasized that the measure of this tightening was less than expected in the previous survey of banks.  

“The tightening was to a somewhat greater extent related to foreign exchange-indexed loans and, viewed according to the size of the company, it was to a greater extent represented in large companies compared to small and medium-sized ones,” the summary of the Report states.

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The banks stated that they expect further slight tightening of standards for the first quarter of this year as well.

The banks’ assessment is that the economy has increased the demand for loans during the last quarter of 2022, namely for foreign currency or foreign currency-indexed loans, as well as short-term dinar loans. 

“Financing of working capital and restructuring of existing obligations are recognized as factors of growth in the economy’s demand for loans,” states the NBS.  

Banks expect further growth in the economy’s demand for loans in the first quarter of 2023.
It is also added that in the last quarter, banks continued to tighten standards for the population.  

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“The tightening was primarily related to dinar cash loans and loans for refinancing and foreign currency indexed housing loans,” states the NBS and adds that banks expect a moderate tightening of credit standards for households during the first quarter of 2023.

20 banks in whose hands more than 99 percent of the total assets of the banking sector participated in the survey.

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