Banking association says troubled loans increasing
Average interest rate lower in August, says ABI15 October, 18:55
(ANSA) - Rome, October 15 - The number of bad loans reported in Italy has hit its highest level since 1999, the national banking association reported Tuesday.
The ongoing economic crisis and Italy's lingering recession were blamed for the rise in bad loans which in August reached 7.32% of total loans, up from a 7.2% ratio 14 years ago, ABI reported.
The numbers are still an improvement over the historical record of a 9.9% ratio seen in December 1996, but far weaker than the 2.3% ratio in 2008 before the global crisis began, ABI added.
Meanwhile, consumer interest rates have been steadily falling and last month hit historic lows, according to ABI.
The average interest rate for consumer loans was 3.81% last month, compared with 3.83% in August 2012. On new business loans, the average interest rate rose to 3.62% in August from 3.49% on average one month earlier, said ABI.
And on home loans, the average rate rose to 3.65% in August from 3.63% one month earlier.
(photo: ABI chief Antonio Patuelli)