Banks in Albania: The business loan offer is expected to improve
Banks can ease business lending standards in the first quarter of this year.
The Bank of Albania’s Credit Activity Survey showed that business lending remained tight in the fourth quarter of 2018, but at least banks gave more positive signals for the beginning of this year. Banks expect to ease the lending standards for businesses this quarter, especially in liquidity-providing loans. According to the Bank of Albania, for the 11 months of 2018, the new business credit had the value of ALL 171 billion, down 15 billion ALL or about 8% compared to the same period of the previous year.
Meanwhile, demand for business loans was also reported higher in the fourth quarter of the year. It was perceived by the top banks, especially in the big business segment, in the loan for investment financing.
On the other hand, banks have further eased lending to households in the last quarter of last year. According to the Bank of Albania, this relief was manifested in both categories, both for housing loans and for consumer loans. Facilitation of lending standards came especially from competition in the banking system as well as from the high liquidity situation of banks.
Banks even expressed a further easing credit standards for lending to households in the first quarter of 2019.