While the tourism industry is still hoping for positive effects, Croatia’s banks are already pocketing profits.
The football euphoria following Croatia’s national football team’s successful run at the recent World Cup in Russia has boosted personal spending in Croatia. While retail sector and travel agencies profited the most, a large part of the spending boom went to local banks, who saw an increase in the number of cash loans approved to clients and credit card transactions in the last month, reports tportal.hr on July 22, 2018.
Of course, the banks do not know what the funds were spent on and therefore add that the growth in loans approved should not be attributed solely to the World Cup and the masses of Croats allegedly borrowing money to travel to Russia.
Addiko Bank confirmed that they had clients who showed interest in travelling to Russia but added that their cash loans sector had been steadily growing since the beginning of the year. “However, spending via bank’s credit cards increased compared to last year’s June. The total value of transactions in June was five percent higher than last year,” said Addiko Bank.
Another well-informed source said that other banks have also seen a rise in credit card spending, which can be directly linked to the performance of Croatia’s football team. “After Croatia entered the quarterfinals, our phones did not stop ringing. Our clients demanded their credit card limits to be increased, both daily and monthly, which can be associated with increased spending caused by the football euphoria,” said the source.
In the last month, Erste Bank saw the growth of cash loans, by 25 percent in volume and by 80 percent in the number of loans approved, but did not want to directly link that with the World Cup. “Given the improved terms in the area of cash loans and the growth of the entire market, as well as the fact that it is a type of loan for which we do not have a record of purpose, it is difficult to directly link the growth with the World Cup. On the other hand, it is certain that the World Cup, as well as the planned annual vacations, have influenced to some extent the growth of cash loans,” said Erste Bank.
Privredna Banka Zagreb, the second-largest bank in Croatia, said that the demand for cash and fast loans is generally good and continuous – there have been 45 percent more such loans since the beginning of this year. They did not release precise numbers for the last month, but admitted that the growth was “noticeable.”
Translated from tportal.hr (reported by Nikola Sučec).