At the end of 2010, Albanian banks had invested abroad funds of 1.2 billion dollars.
Compared to one year ago, the money that banks have transferred abroad was increased, according to official data, with 46.1%. For many years, a great part of the loans in foreign currency lent to businesses and individuals have been financed by loans that the banks have taken from their “mother” banks abroad.
But since September 2009, the money transfer has changed direction. The latest Financial Stability Report of the Albanian Bank says that the Albanian banking sector has turned into net lender. This means that Albanian Banks are transferring funds abroad, in the form of deposits to their “mother” banks, or in the form of loans that they give to foreigners.
The strong increase of the money that banks are transferring abroad has to do, according to the experts, with the fact that banks perceive an increased danger in the inner market and prefer to invest their money abroad, where they feel safer. But how much is this transferred amount? According to official data, 1.2 billion USD that our banks have invested outside Albania is equal to 25% of all the loans that the banks have given to the Albanian businesses and individuals.
According to the same data, only during 2010, the funds that the banks transferred abroad were equal to the money lent inside the country. Even if banks would have the financial sources to help our economy growth by loans, the foreign investments limit these possibilities. These data indicate that the decrease of bank loan levels in the country started exactly in the middle of 2009, when banks started to transfer funds abroad. Since then, the credit increase, contrary to what the Albanian Bank had predicted, keeps staying at even lower levels, although the financial crisis has passed and the demand has increased.