FRANKFURT Oct 18 Euro zone banks are set to
tighten access to corporate credit for the first time in 2-1/2
years as they become more wary of risk and negative interest
rates eat into their profit, a European Central Bank survey
showed on Tuesday.
Banks stopped easing credit standards for enterprises in the
three months to September and a narrow majority of them expects
to tighten them in the current quarter, the ECB's lending survey
Lenders cited lower risk tolerance as a factor contributing
to the tightening, while also voicing their discomfort with the
ECB's negative deposit rate, effectively a charge on banks'
deposit with the central bank.
A large majority of banks said the charge had a negative
impact on their lending rates and margins over the past six
months. Some even said it was leading to an increase in their
charges to customers, particularly companies, over and above
The survey was conducted in September.
(Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Balazs Koranyi)