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A Local or a Foreign Currency Loan? Evidence on the Role of Loan Characteristics, Preferences of Households and the Effect of Foreign Banks

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Using data from the OeNB Euro Survey in CESEE, which covers both EU Member States and (potential) candidate countries, we analyze how the currency of existing loans to households relates to (1) loan characteristics (loan maturity and purpose), (2) households’ preferences regarding the loan currency and (3) bank ownership (domestic or foreign). Our findings support the existing literature’s view that both demand- and supply-side factors have an influence on foreign currency lending. In the period under investigation, foreign currency loans were sought after by households in particular for long-term borrowing. Likewise, banks were more likely to grant large and long-term loans in foreign currency. On a descriptive level, we find that in Croatia and Hungary, foreign-owned banks had a higher share of foreign currency loans than local currency loans – in the remaining seven countries, however, the share of foreign currency loans is similar to or lower than that of local currency loans. In regression models we account for the possibility that foreign-owned and domestically-owned banks may differ in that they have issued loans with different characteristics and in that they have customers with different credit ratings and different preferences. Holding these factors constant reveals that, on average, foreign-owned banks did not issue more foreign currency loans – neither consumption loans nor mortgages – than domestically-owned banks.

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  • Elisabeth Beckmann & Anita Roitner & Helmut Stix, 2015. "A Local or a Foreign Currency Loan? Evidence on the Role of Loan Characteristics, Preferences of Households and the Effect of Foreign Banks," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 1, pages 24-48.
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbfi:y:2015:i:1:b:2
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    2. Thomas Scheiber & Julia Wörz, 2018. "How are reduced interest rate differentials affecting euroization in Southeastern Europe? Evidence from the OeNB Euro Survey," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue Q1-18, pages 48-60.
    3. Elisabeth Beckmann, 2017. "How does foreign currency debt relief affect households’ loan demand? Evidence from the OeNB Euro Survey in CESEE," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 1, pages 8-32.
    4. Beckmann, Elisabeth & Stix, Helmut, 2015. "Foreign currency borrowing and knowledge about exchange rate risk," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 1-16.
    5. Michael Chui & Emese Kuruc & Philip Turner, 2016. "A new dimension to currency mismatches in the emerging markets - non-financial companies," BIS Working Papers 550, Bank for International Settlements.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    foreign currency debt; household credit; bank ownership; Central; Eastern; Southeastern Europe;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems

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