FRANKFURT AM MAIN, , (Pakistan Point News - APP - 17th Jan, 2017 ) - Eurozone banks offered borrowers easier repayment conditions in the final quarter of 2016 but became pickier about the businesses they granted loans to, a European Central Bank survey released Tuesday showed. "Net easing of banks' overall terms and conditions on new loans continued across all loan categories," as in previous quarters, the central bank said in a statement. Meanwhile, appetite for credit continued to grow, the survey of loan officers at 139 eurozone banks carried out in December found.
Both small and large businesses were looking to borrow more money in the fourth quarter, with the survey recording a 16-percent increase in demand compared with 11 percent between July and September. The ECB pointed to low interest rates, plans for mergers and debt refinancing as the main drivers of demand for credit among businesses. Low interest rates, a housing market trending upwards and high confidence also increased appetite for home loans among consumers. But "banks' lower willingness to tolerate risk was the main factor" in a slight tightening of credit standards for firms, the ECB report said. "This was the first net tightening since the fourth quarter of 2013," the central bank noted in its statement. The ECB said the trend was driven mainly by the Netherlands.