Consumer lending in Italy continued to perform well in 2019, with consumer credit categories recording value growth in gross lending and outstanding balance. However, there was a further slight-to-marginal downturn in gross lending value in mortgages/housing.
The credit risk on consumer lending remains low due to the stricter controls applied by banks and the more modest household demand for loans. The Bank of Italy reported that the criteria applied by banks for a loan’s eligibility remained unchanged in the second quarter of 2019, as households continued to meet their debt obligations.
Meanwhile, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is becoming an important substitute for traditional bank lending. Players like BLender and Smartika put borrowers and savers in contact via their websites, and allow households to request loans.
Even if the historically low levels of the Euribor and IRS indexes allowed banks to cut down on both fixed and variable interest rates on mortgages, the value of new mortgages decreased during 2019. Fluctuating consumer confidence in the country’s economic prospects and employment levels limited demand.
The performance of consumer lending in Italy is predicted to remain positive over the forecast period, with value increases in gross lending and outstanding balance anticipated across all categories. Expected low interest rates and improving employment and disposable income levels are driving consumer confidence, although many consumers remain cautious about the economic situation, which may limit value growth rates.
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