Press release of the Banco de Portugal on the convergence of the average maturity of new credit agreements for house purchase towards 30 years
In July 2018 the Banco de Portugal, as the macroprudential authority, implemented a macroprudential measure in the form of a Recommendation governing new credit granted to consumers for house purchase, secured by a mortgage or equivalent guarantee, and consumer credit. The Recommendation introduced limits to some of the criteria with which credit institutions and financial companies should comply when assessing the borrower’s creditworthiness. Hence, it aims to ensure that institutions do not take excessive risks when granting credit, so as to boost financial sector resilience to potential adverse shocks and promote access to sustainable funding on the part of consumers, minimising default risk.
The Banco de Portugal has been monitoring the credit granting activity, to ensure the effectiveness of the macroprudential Recommendation relating to new credit for house purchase and consumer credit. This assessment shows that credit institutions have broadly complied with the guidelines set out. However, the average maturity of new loans for house purchase has not undergone linear and gradual convergence towards 30 years, as established in the Recommendation.
Therefore, with a view to the convergence of the average maturity of new credit agreements for house purchase towards 30 years by the end of 2022, the Banco de Portugal, as the macroprudential authority and by decision of the Board of Directors of 25th January 2022, recommends new limits to the maximum maturity of new credit for house purchase on the basis of the age of borrowers. The maximum maturity of these loans shall be 40 years for borrowers aged 30 or under; 37 years for borrowers aged over 30 and up to and including 35; and 35 years for borrowers aged over 35.
The Banco of Portugal, as the macroprudential authority, will continue to monitor compliance with the Recommendation and may adopt the additional measures it considers appropriate to achieve the purpose of convergence of the average maturity of new credit agreements for house purchase towards 30 years by the end of 2022.
The Banco de Portugal consulted the Associação Portuguesa de Bancos (APB), Associação Portuguesa de Leasing, Renting e Factoring (ALF), Associação de Instituições de Crédito Especializado (ASFAC) and Associação Portuguesa para a Defesa do Consumidor (DECO) regarding the revision of the Recommendation. The National Council of Financial Supervisors (CNSF) was also consulted in accordance with the applicable law.
This change will enter into force as of 1 April 2022.