While consumer credit is experiencing a new upturn in France, what happens to the situation in Belgium?
According to the Francia Bank, consumer credit rose by 6.4% during the month of November. The peak of monthly production of depreciable loans did the same. During the same period, Belgium experienced a comparable situation. At the end of November 2017, over one year, outstandings grew by 6.4%. The pace has been increasing intensively for several months already, bringing the total amount of credits to 169 billion. A situation that had not experienced a similar acceleration for a decade.
Production model in full swing
The situation of consumer credit has evolved over time. In the past, it was essentially stimulated by revolving credit, which is now focused on restricted uses, with strict rules. Today, it is further stimulated by conventional amortizable loans. Unlike revolving credit, this credit model is established by determining a final repayment term from the outset. This family of credit reached a monthly output of about 5.5 billion euros in November 2017, which is a record. The level had never exceeded 3.5 to 4 billion at the height of the crisis period.
Concurrent economic events
The economic sector has seen a number of simultaneous events that have certainly benefited consumer credit in Belgium. In addition to increased household confidence, growth at the heart of the euro zone has also benefited the financial sector.
Another powerful engine on a purely French level: a large increase in real estate loans. Unlike the previous year, these are full-fledged real estate transactions, whereas in the previous year there were numerous credit renegotiations. Thus, thanks to all the real estate loans contracted in 2017, the effects were immediately passed on to the fittings and purchases of essential equipment for the new housing acquired, favoring consumer credit in Belgium.
Finally, another sector displays a flawless dynamism: the purchase of vehicles by lease with option to buy or by depreciable loan.
A dynamic reconquest
For a long time, it was above all the specialized players in consumer credit in Belgium (often subsidiaries of traditional brands) that had control over this specific market. It was initially managed by the banks, including the mutual signs. Now wishing to regain this lucrative market, they take full advantage of lower rates to revive this financing activity, which allows them not only to retain their customers but also to profit from profitable margins.