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Value of new consumer loans reaches highest level since before crisis

The value of new forint-based consumer loans signed by Hungarian banks in March reached the highest level since before the crisis, the National Bank of Hungary's fresh rates report shows.

The value of new HUF-based consumer loans reached HUF 20.8 billion in March, the highest monthly level since July 2008. The amount was up from HUF 17.2 billion in the previous month and HUF 14.4 billion twelve months earlier.

The average rate on the loans, weighted for the size of the contract, was 16.26% in March, down sharply from 17.32% in February and 20.98% a year earlier.

The National Bank of Hungary cut the base rate about four percentage points during the period.

Retail clients signed new HUF-based home loan contracts worth HUF 8.5 billion in March, up from HUF 5.9 billion in February, but slightly under the HUF 8.8 billion in the same month a year earlier. The average weighted rate for the loans was 9.42% in March, down from 9.74% in February and 12.17% twelve months earlier.

Overdrafts on retail accounts came to HUF 392.1 billion in March, up from HUF 382.5 billion in February and HUF 369.3 billion twelve months earlier, suggesting households could be spending more.

Retail clients put HUF 1,368.2 billion into sight deposits in March, down from HUF 1,381.1 billion in February, but up from HUF 1,349.1 billion twelve months earlier. They put HUF 960.7 billion into fixed deposits in March, compared to HUF 948.2 billion in February and HUF 1,190.5 billion a year earlier. Banks paid an average 5.39% on the fixed deposits, down from 5.73% in February and 9.55% a year earlier.

New euro-based home loans were worth HUF 9.8 billion in March, down from HUF 10.4 billion in February and HUF 14.9 billion twelve months earlier. The average weighted rate for the loans was 7.23% in March, down from 7.42% in February and 7.65% twelve months earlier.

The value of new EUR-based consumer loans reached HUF 5.9 billion in March, down from HUF 6.0 billion in February and HUF 16.0 billion a year earlier. Borrowers paid an average rate of 8.15% on the loans in March, down from 8.71% in February and 8.78% in March 2009.

The value of new Swiss franc-based home loans signed in March was HUF 3.6 billion, little changed from HUF 3.3 billion in the previous month. The value of new CHF-based consumer loans was HUF 3.9 billion, also practically level with February. (MTI-Econews)