Featured statistic: EUR 233 billion

Date 12 November 2008

In the second quarter, Dutch bank lending to the non-industrialised world totalled EUR 233 billion, some EUR 60 billion more than a year earlier.

The Dutch banks granted half of these loans from their Dutch head offices and half from their foreign offices. Nearly EUR 80 billion was invested in Eastern Europe, around EUR 75 billion in Latin America, including the Brazilian activities of ABN AMRO (transfer in July) and EUR 65 billion in Asia.

Lending to China and India – two fast-growing Asian countries – has expanded considerably over the past months to EUR 11 billion and EUR 16 billion, respectively. In India, lending was mainly to the non-banking sectors and nearly half the loans were granted by local establishments of Dutch banks. In China, the credits were destined mainly for the banking sector and they were granted mainly from Dutch head offices.

The European banking system has provided the non-industrialised countries with around EUR 2,300 billion, of which over EUR 430 billion was accounted for by banks in the United Kingdom. This makes the United Kingdom the largest lender to these countries. Dutch banks rank fifth on the global scale. Relative to the size of their own economy, European bankers are very much more active in the non-industrialised world than their Japanese or American competitors (see the Chart).

Lending to non-industrialised countries


Although lending to the non-industrialised countries has steadily expanded over the past year, the financial unrest and waning confidence among financial institutions have certainly affected lending between developed countries. Dutch bank lending to industrialised countries contracted in this period by nearly EUR 350 billion (more than one-third of which was accounted for by the divestiture of ABN AMRO) to just under EUR 1,200 billion.

In a contribution from DNB to Economisch Statistische Berichten of 14 November, lending to developed countries is discussed in more detail.