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Slovenia’s central bank urged to reconsider lending restrictions

MNB

Photo by BalkansCat/Shutterstock.com

Slovenia’s parliamentary Finance Committee has urged the central bank to reconsider the recently imposed curbs on consumer lending, which it described as disproportional to the underlying risks, state news agency STA reported. 

Photo by BalkansCat/Shutterstock.com

The appeal came at a session on November 27 called by all five coalition parties after the central bank curtailed lending to consumers with the argument that consumer loans would pose a risk to the banking system if left unchecked.

In resolutions adopted at the session, the committee said the restrictions would have a negative impact on spending and reduce the financial strength of those with the lowest incomes. The central bank was urged to reassess the systemic risks potentially stemming from consumers seeking to secure loans outside banking channels or even on the grey market.

After issuing a set of precautionary recommendations last November to curb imprudent consumer lending practices, Banka Slovenije moved from recommendations to formal restrictions on November 1, while also further stiffening conditions.

The restrictions include a maximum 84-month maturity for consumer loans, down from 120 months recommended last year, and most notably, curbs on housing loans.

Banks will for the most part have to keep loan-to-value ratios (loan payments relative to the client’s annual income) to below 50% for clients with monthly income of up to twice the gross minimum wage and below 67% for those making more than that, STA said, as cited by Slovenia Times.

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