Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices

In order to enhance the understanding of bank lending behaviour, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank launched its ‘Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices’ (the ‘Lending Survey’ in short) in the spring of 2003 to be conducted twice a year. The Lending Survey was modelled on the Federal Reserve Board’s survey of the same title conducted four times a year in the form of a questionnaire. We adopted some special features of the recently launched European Central Bank’s lending survey for harmonisation purposes.

As far as loan practices are concerned, the MNB has only data on outstanding loans and certain prices at its disposal at present. The questionnaire is designed to complement these existing pieces of information by focussing on the missing credit supply and demand elements and the factors affecting them, the majority of which can only be interpreted with the help of qualitative questions. The survey is divided into two sections: one asks about loans to enterprises, the other on loans to households, with both parts to be filled in by the senior loan officers of banks with the largest market share.

The results of the survey can be utilised in a wide range of fields. The primary objective of the Lending Survey is to provide a more accurate assessment of the possible risks to financial stability. For example, it can be of great assistance in the timely recognition of a lending boom or a credit crunch, the two extreme situations of bank lending. A database of appropriate length and reliability may also help to expand the wealth of issues addressed in applied and academic research on bank lending. The MNB conducts each survey within a month and a half following the half-year period reviewed and publishes the aggregated results, the related analysis and set of charts on its website in the third month.

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