Study: Consumer credit in Europe declined in 2013 – also in Germany

At the end of 2013, consumer credit in Europe amounted to € 1,061 billion, a decline of 0.9 percent compared to 2012. The sum of outstanding loans in Germany has also fallen slightly.

It has grown in seven European countries, including the UK. These are the results of the study “Consumer Credit Market in Europe” of the French Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance (CACF) Group, of which Good Finance Bank AG belongs.

The study was conducted in 28 European countries

The study was conducted in 28 European countries

Since 2008, consumer credit in Europe has been falling, and in 2013 this trend continued. One of the main causes of this is unemployment, which has steadily increased within the EU over the same period. In the countries of southern Europe, including France, which are particularly affected by the economic and euro crisis, the sum of outstanding loans even fell by 7 percent.

These countries are facing significantly higher unemployment than, for example, Germany. A second reason for the decline in consumer credit in Europe is the greater regulation of banks in granting loans, notably through the Basel III reform package.
With 260 billion euros, the sum of all consumer loans in the UK is highest in Europe. This represents one quarter of all outstanding loans in Europe.

This is followed by Germany (223 billion euros) and France (146 billion euros). The UK is up 5 percent in 2013, while credit levels in all other major economies are declining. In Germany they decreased by 1 percent, in France by 2 percent, in Italy by 3 percent. The decline in crisis-prone Spain (minus 8 percent) is particularly clear.
In terms of growth, the UK is only surpassed by Denmark, where the plus is even 15 percent. Stocks are also bucking the trend in Slovakia (+5 percent), Sweden (+4 percent), Luxembourg (+3 percent), Malta and Lithuania (+1 percent each). In Germany, the per capita debt is falling – in the UK, it is cracking the 4,000-euro mark.

On average, the highest indebted by loans are also clear to the British


Per capita debt increased slightly in the UK in 2013. It is 4,071 euros and is as high as since 2009 not more. This is followed by Luxembourg (3,721 euros) and Denmark (3,301 euros). In Germany, consumer loan books per capita fell from 2,741 euros in 2012 to 2,716 euros in 2013. At the end of the scale, as in the previous year, Lithuania has 222 euros.

“Especially in southern Europe, many people find the financial future too uncertain that debt could be considered for them,” says Jan W. Wagner, CEO of Good Finance Bank. “An economic recovery has not yet occurred to the extent that consumer sentiment and credit readiness in Europe increase nationwide.

” Germany represented with its stable development of an exception – but the Germans tended, especially in low-interest phases to keep their assets liquid and spend cash, which is why, despite the good state of the economy, there is no increase in lending volume in Germany. “The current outlook suggests that the market in Germany will remain at the current level, provided that the legislator does not overshoot the target for new regulations,” said Wagner.

More information about the study results can be found here


Good Finance mother CACF conducted the Consumer Credit in Europe study for the sixth time in a row. CACF is one of the market leaders in the European consumer credit business. At the end of 2013, its loan portfolio totaled around 70 billion euros. CACF is represented by subsidiaries in 18 European markets.