July-August 2011

Chapter 19: Interest rates

Circular 1/2010 of 27 January 2010 has amended Circular 4/2002 on the interest rates applied by credit institutions to the deposits of and on the loans extended to households and non-financial corporations to adapt it to the amendments made to Regulation 290/2009 of the European Central Bank of 31 March 2009. The new Circular stipulates a more detailed breakdown of the information on new lending business, which will begin to be published once there is a sufficiently representative series. Moreover, the Circular amends certain criteria that affect the classification and content of certain transactions, causing breaks in the data series. Thus, the series which, to May 2010 inclusive, was called "Overdrafts" also includes, as from June 2010, credit lines, and has been re-named "Overdrafts and credit lines" (previously, credit lines were included along with other credit operations by term). Further, in the case of credit lines, the new Circular considers as "new business" the outstanding balance at the end of each month, and not the amount of credit extended during the month, as was previously the case. These changes are reflected in the data on interest rates and in the amounts for the new item "Overdrafts and credit lines". Finally, the new Circular significantly affects the data on "Consumer credit up to 1 year" which, as from the June 2010 data, cease to include credit transactions with credit cards. These transactions will shortly be provided separately, once the representative series are available.