WARSAW Aug 4 Polish banks expect demand for
corporate loans to rise in the third quarter, in particular for
long-term loans from large enterprises, a survey compiled by
Poland's central bank (NBP) showed on Monday.
The survey of senior loan officers also showed that banks
were slightly easing standards for granting corporate loans,
especially for small and medium-sized companies.
The survey was conducted at the turn of June and July,
before EU's latest round of sanctions against Russia, which
raised fears that trade restrictions could hurt Polish
"The easing of lending policy towards enterprises was
largely driven by a significant improvement in banks'
expectations of future developments in the economy," the central
Growth in the Polish economy, the largest in central and
eastern Europe, is expected by economists to slow in the second
and third quarter, partly because of the impact of the
The central bank's rate-setting panel is expected to discuss
whether to cut rates at its next sitting on Sept. 3, with credit
conditions playing a role to its decision. Central bank Governor
Marek Belka said in July that a September rate cut was unlikely.
The NBP said the survey showed banks thought that borrowers
and industries they had considered the most risky were now less
"The growth in demand - besides higher financing needs for
inventories and working capital - was, to a large extent,
associated with the investment needs of enterprises and a
delivery of business development plans," NBP added.
Banks were also expecting a rise in demand for housing and
consumer loans, although responses in these categories varied.
Data from Poland's financial watchdog KNF show that total
corporate credit extended by banks rose by an annual 5.8 percent
in May, with credit for large companies rising by 10.5 percent.
Housing credit growth slowed to 3.3 percent in May.
Total corporate credit was rising by about 20 percent at the
turn of 2011 and 2012, but had slowed to about 2 percent at the
end of 2013.
(Reporting by Marcin Goettig; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)