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Population decreases, but credit indebtedness is rising

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In Montenegro, almost every second adult citizen is credit indebted, with an average debt per adult citizen of our country amounting to around 4,500 EUR, according to data provided by the Central Bank of Montenegro (CBCG).

According to preliminary data from Monstat’s census in 2023, our country has a population of 633,000 inhabitants, among whom, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, there are about 93,000 foreigners, which means that Montenegrin citizenship is held by around 540,000 citizens who live here. Data between the two censuses show that the average indebtedness compared to the census in 2011 has increased by about 800 euros.

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In response to the question of whether our citizens fall into the category of indebted or if we are not heavily burdened by credit, the Central Bank of Montenegro states that, according to data provided to the Credit Registry on November 30, 2023, by banks, MFIs, IRFs, leasing companies, factoring and claims purchase companies, and bankrupt banks, active debt related to loans, cards, overdrafts, and leasing is held by 173,052 individuals, excluding entrepreneurs, with a gross debt of 1.81 billion euros.

  • In the same reporting period in 2022, under the same criteria, the number of individuals was 169,144, with a gross debt of 1,665.5 million euros. According to Monstat data, in Montenegro, in 2011, we had 474,655 adults, so the average debt per citizen on November 30th, 2023, would amount to around 3,820 euros, which is 311 euros more compared to the same period of the previous year. Citizens’ indebtedness in Montenegro is relatively higher than in some neighboring countries, but this indicator is largely influenced by the level of financial literacy of the population, as well as differences in the depth of financial intermediation. A banking system that is larger in terms of GDP will also approve more loans per capita. Based on data on GDP growth, credit activity, and the quality of assets in Montenegro, it can be concluded that the average indebtedness is moderate – according to the CBCG.

According to data provided to the Credit Registry by banks only for November 30th, 2023, active debt related to loans, credit cards, overdrafts, and leasing is held by 155,271 individuals, excluding entrepreneurs.

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  • According to data from the Credit Registry provided by all reporting institutions to the Central Bank by November 30th, 2023, there are 49,395 individuals and entrepreneurs who are guarantors/co-guarantors/co-debtors for claims: loans, credit cards, overdrafts, and leasing, to any legal or natural person – stated by the CBCG.

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