2.2 Bank loans to companies

In the same way as for households, bank loans play a key role in the financing of companies because the financial system of the euro area is largely bank-based. In addition to bank loans, companies can also use other types of financing, such as the issuance of shares or debt securities. These types of financing are not covered in this publication.

It is important for monetary policy purposes to obtain information on companies’ access to finance, their borrowing behaviour and their indebtedness (their total debt). This information reveals companies’ sources of financing and their risk exposures. It also shows how they are financially connected to each other. The ECB therefore collects data on the volumes of, and interest rates on, companies’ debt.

The borrowing costs of companies can vary across countries owing to differences between economies, credit ratings and the structure of financial sectors. The ECB produces a key indicator of overall borrowing costs, which allows comparisons to be made between countries, as it is based on the interest rates on all types of loan to companies in the euro area.

2.2.1 Statistics on companies’ loans and indebtedness

Statistics on bank loans to companies, as well as statistics on new loans and interest rates, are made available on a monthly basis for all euro area countries. Additionally, estimates of the breakdown according to the economic activity of borrowers are also available at the euro area level.

In [Date 1] the annual growth rate of all loans to companies in the euro area was [Value 1]% and the total volume of loans granted to companies was € [Value 2] billions. The average interest rate was [Value 3]% in [Date 1].

The size of companies’ financing can also be analysed by using an indebtedness indicator, such as the corporate debt-to-GDP ratio. The debt-to-GDP ratio for companies in the euro area was [Value 5]% in [Date 5].

Use the visualisations to compare your country with other countries.

Bank loans to companies

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Lending to companies

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