Have the banks stopped lending?

The assertion that the banks stopped lending circulates extensively. However, it seems that the reality is quite different, even if it is certain that the criteria for granting Antipredazione 90 loans have tightened after the experience of laxity that led to the subprime crisis in the United States.

European banks are looking for borrowers

The latest quarterly report from the European Central Bank teaches us several important elements

· Business loan criteria eased in the first quarter to below the 2003 low. This is both good news for the economy and bad news for asset quality. banking.

· Real estate loans have also seen their criteria fall, to reach their historic levels, by the end of the day.

It is on the demand side that the answer lies: for businesses, it remains down about a quarter from historical averages. On the other hand, household demand, which was down 11% at the end of 2012 compared with historical averages, continues to fall to 26%.

This means that European households and businesses, scalded by the financial crisis, have learned the lesson and reduced their debt. Moreover, in times of recession and rising unemployment, there is no stimulation of investments. It is a salutary phase of deleveraging.

Emerging countries maintain their activity

The index of the Institute of International Finance for loans to emerging countries remains stable at the level of 50.6. This demand and this granting of credits have increased significantly compared to the fall of the end of 2011, where this index was only 44.7%.

Although the pace of economic growth is declining, it remains strong in emerging countries. It must be said that the growth of non-performing loans is declining in a context that remains robust. This is reassuring to lenders.

Credits resume in the United States

This is the US side that credit growth is the increase marquée. Une 130 billion of loans in Q1 2013 confirms an increasing demand. This is unquestionably good news, especially for the three big US banks, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citibank, which have seen their results rise dramatically.

This is consistent with the decline in unemployment and a growing expectation of nearly 3%.

State funding

This quick review concludes that the credit problems that followed the financial crisis seem to be shrinking.

It is therefore in other assets that the banks will take refuge and in the growth that will come to the salvation. The question of their investments in government bonds, however, poses a dilemma that the various crises pose seriously.

The announcement by Australia on Tuesday to invest 5% of its reserves, or $ 1.9 billion, in Chinese government bonds is a first that confirms the location of the Yuan to become a reserve currency.

In Europe, Credit Default Swaps, which measure investors’ perception of country risks, confirms Spain’s return to better health, as it is at the level of Italy. This weekend in Washington and Monday in New York, the IMF meetings, although less depressed than in Tokyo six months ago, remained extraordinarily vigilant.