April Bank Lending Survey for Germany

Starting with the April round of surveys, the size of the German sample of the Bank Lending Survey for the euro area was increased from 17 to the current number of 30 institutions. This sample enlargement became nec-essary in order to maintain a high degree of representativeness following the developments in the German banking industry during the past few years as well as in the future.

According to the results of the most recent survey on lending in Germany, the banks surveyed continued to be more restrictive in their lending behav-iour in commercial banking business in the first quarter of 2008. For exam-ple, the standards for loans to enterprises were tightened on balance for all types of enterprises and all maturities. This applied more to loans to large enterprises than to loans to small and medium-sized enterprises. By con-trast, the standards for loans to households for consumption or residential mortgage purposes were again eased slightly by the institutions participating in the survey. All in all, the changes to the credit supply conditions of the surveyed banks in Germany thus turned out to be noticeably less restrictive than in the euro area as a whole.

In the reporting period, the German institutions taking part in the survey in-creased their margins for riskier loans for all surveyed types of loans, while differing adjustments were made for average-risk exposures. In this case, it was only in business with enterprises that the margins were significantly fur-ther extended. Finally, with regard to the borrowing requirement, the survey participants observed an increasing demand for bank loans, except in the area of housing loans. For the coming second quarter 2008, they expect further slight tightenings of their credit standards for loans to enterprises, especially in business with large enterprises. They forecast mostly un-changed credit standards for loans to enterprises, however.

As in the preceding quarters, the April Bank Lending Survey asked addi-tional questions on the effects of the financial market turbulence. This con-firmed the insights from the previous surveys: for example, it was again mainly enterprises – in both Germany and in the euro area as a whole – that were affected by the somewhat stricter lending behaviour of the banks sur-veyed. The survey participants are expecting the financial market turbulence to have a marked effect on their loan supply conditions in the second quarter of 2008, too.

The aggregate survey results for Germany may be found at the website.