Bank debt on the rise

Companies and families in Portugal are finding it harder and harder to pay back bank loans, with the overall bank debt this year more than doubling in comparison with 2009.

The total debt from companies reached around 5.1 billion Euros in June, more than the double the amount registered in the same period in 2009. Debt from loans contracted by companies last June amounted to around two billion Euros, which means that in just one year they rose by an average of 8.5 million Euros every day, totalling 3.1 billion Euros in June 2010.

Consumer loans, which have the highest bank interest rates, accounted for around 1.1 billion Euros worth of debt among Portuguese families in June, while in the same month last year the figure was 405 million Euros.

In June, mortgage debt amounted to 1.9 billion Euros, 724 million Euros more than the same period last year.