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Consumer Lending in Italy

Italy consumer lending market: Overall decrease recorded in 2012

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2014-02-18 13:05:01 - Consumer Lending in Italy - a new market research report on

Whilst the Italy consumer lending market continued to decrease in 2012, and is expected to fall further over the forecast period in terms of gross lending, the outstanding balance increased, giving a clear picture of ongoing difficulties in the Italian market. The performance of consumer lending in Italy is mainly linked to the economic and financial crisis, rising unemployment and lower available income (consequently decreasing consumer confidence), falling expenditure, and as such, slower lending.

Whilst overall lending fell in Italy in 2012, education lending continued to increase, as Italian consumers, with lower available income and savings, were obliged to take out education loans in order to afford necessary expenses such as schooling. On the other hand, purchases and expenditure which are



not considered necessities were postponed to better times, together with the demand for related loans.

During 2012 mortgages gross lending decreased as a consequence of the negative economic environment and the fragility of household finances, with increasing uncertainty in making new indebtedness decisions, whilst the mortgages outstanding balance increased in the year, as consumers struggled to pay their outstanding mortgages. Mortgages was also impacted by stricter requirements from financial institutions in order to control the level of defaults.

Auto lending still did not show signs of recovery in 2012, and registered a decrease over the review period, impacted by the low demand for both new and used vehicles, as well as the negative performance of the overall automotive market and the absence of government incentives to sustain sales. Again, this in part related back to low consumer confidence in Italy, with consumers wary of borrowing money unless it was a necessity, but also related to organisations avoiding lending, as they sought to reduce the outstanding debts.

Consumer lending is expected to grow over the forecast period in terms of the outstanding balance. Also, whilst overall in the forecast period gross lending is still expected to decline, the latter years of the forecast period will show a more positive performance, thanks to the economic recovery expected from 2014 onwards, which will impact consumer confidence and therefore Italians willingness to spend money. For example, growth in mortgages/housing, which accounts for the highest share of overall consumer lending in Italy, will be more positive in the years from 2015.

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