With Latvia joining the Economic and Monetary Union on 1 January 2014, Latvijas Banka conducts the bank lending survey in cooperation with the European Central Bank (ECB). The ECB has been conducting the euro area bank lending survey four times a year since 2003 (in January, April, July and October).
The main objective of the survey is to enhance the Eurosystem's knowledge of the role of credit in the monetary transmission mechanism and hence to help assess monetary and economic developments as an input into monetary policy decisions. The sample group of a country's responding banks is made up to effectively represent the banking sector of each respective country. The questionnaire focuses on the assessment of bank behaviour related to such issues as credit standards for approving loans and credit terms and conditions. It also includes the assessment of the conditions affecting credit demand.
The questionnaire contains 18 regular questions and concerns loans to enterprises and households. Occasionally, ad hoc questions on specific topics of interest may be added.
The survey is addressed to senior loan officers. In Latvia, the aggregated survey results indicate the direction of changes. Net percentage of credit institutions or the difference between the number of credit institutions reporting a change in one direction and those reporting a change in the opposite direction is the indicator of change. The weight of loan portfolio of each credit institution is not accounted for in this calculation.
Example. Aggregated responses of 10 credit institutions comprise two tightened considerably, three tightened somewhat, one remained basically unchanged, three eased somewhat, and one eased considerably reports. Consequently, net percentage of credit institutions reporting tightening lending standards is equal to (2 + 3 - 3 - 1) : 10 x 100 = 10%. Forecast is net percentage of credit institutions calculated from the survey responses about the credit institutions' assessment for the current half-year period.
The information about the euro area bank lending survey (in English) is available on the ECB website
The results of Latvijas Banka surveys of credit institution lending to non-financial corporations and households up to July 2013 are available on Latvijas Banka website