The Slovenia Times

Chamber of Commerce joins calls against consumer loan limitations


After issuing a set of recommendations last November to warn against imprudent consumer lending practices, Banka Slovenije has moved from recommendations to formal restrictions while also further stiffening conditions.

The restrictions, effective as of 1 November, include maximum 84-month maturity for consumer loans, down from 120 months recommended last year.

Banks will moreover for the most part have to keep loan-to-value ratios (loan payments relative to the client's annual income) to below 50% for clients with monthly income of up to twice the gross minimum wage and below 67% for those making more than that.

While the TZS said in a press release on Wednesday it agreed that the forecasts of economic slow-down should be taken seriously, it added that the "macroprudential measure by Banka Slovenije is disproportionate and excessive."

Considering that a large part of the population will no longer have access to consumer loans or loans intended for specific goods, the chamber expects negative effects in commerce.

"Consumer loans ... enable consumers to redistribute the financial burden for the purchase of durable products over a longer period of time, which enables them to make in-between purchases of other goods," it explained.

The ZTS is also concerned about the possibility that consumers turn to banks in other countries, which do not have such restrictions, to get loans.

The chamber's call follows Prime Minister Marjan Šarec issuing a scathing criticism of the restrictions yesterday to echo the views of the Bank Association, which had also protested the move.

Šarec spoke of a poorly thought through measure that would harm the people and the state and urged a "more humane and realistic" approach.


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