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The catching-up of the banking sector in South-Eastern Europe

A fragile development model dominated by credit growth

Author: Eszter Kazinczy

The paper reviews the commercial banking sector’s development during the booming years before the current global crisis in Southeast Europe. Based on the analysis of a comprehensive dataset, a common, simplified economic model could be outlined for this period, where GDP growth has been fuelled by rapid credit growth. The latter was boosted both by foreign funding and swift deposit growth volumes. Nevertheless, beside the favourable catch-up process, the level of external imbalances, credit growth and currency mismatches raised sustainability concerns and the risk of overheating.

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