Luis M Linde: Consumer lending - a key factor to economic growth in Spain

Speech by Mr Luis M Linde, Governor of the Bank of Spain, on the 60th Anniversary of the National Association of Specialised Lending Institutions (ASNEF), Madrid, 30 November 2017.

Good evening everyone.

It is a pleasure for me to take part in this celebration of the 60th anniversary of the National Association of Specialised Lending Institutions. As your president, Fernando Casero, has just mentioned, throughout its history your Association has played a very important role in promoting and enhancing consumer lending, which is a key factor in driving economic growth.

Indeed, consumer lending has a series of characteristics that make it especially relevant both for the financial system and economic activity.

On the one hand, it is highly cyclical and is, therefore, a leading indicator of confidence among both consumers and financial institutions. On the other, it generally leads the way in terms of adaptation to innovation. As is well known, in the past consumer lending played an important part in the expansion of credit cards, and more recently it has been at the forefront of the incorporation of new technologies.

In the expansionary phase that began after 2000, consumer lending grew rapidly in Spain, reaching a balance outstanding of €106 billion in mid-2008. The financial crisis reduced these figures, down to almost half that amount by early 2015. Since then, in keeping with the economic recovery, consumer lending has been very dynamic.