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Megatrend revija
2017, vol. 14, iss. 1, pp. 187-206
article language: English
document type: Original Scientific Paper

Creative Commons License 4.0
Commercial banking and personal indebtedness in Croatia
aPrimorje-Gorski Kotar County, Croatia
bFaculty of Economics, University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia



Project of the Croatian Science Foundation, no. 6558: Business and Personal Insolvency: The Ways to Overcome Excessive Indebtedness


Social phenomenon of personal over-indebtedness has emerged in the past thirty years. The trend of excessive indebtedness of households is not losing but gaining momentum. The problem of personal over-indebtedness becomes the focus of interest of regulators, research community and the public in general. In Croatia the number of citizens whose bank accounts are frozen as well as the level of their debt is steadily rising. One of the reasons of such trend is easier access to debt. Studies document the process of 'credit democratization', one of the reasons enabling it being the relaxation of financial regulation. Only few studies can be found that research the role of bank operations policies in inducing the higher levels of household debt. Bank marketing, specifically the advertising and promotion are the tools to communicate with clients, and it has been proven that effective marketing content is as powerful as the interest rate level in deciding upon getting a credit. This leads the way to the research of possible relation between marketing efforts of the bank and the level of household indebtedness. This paper focuses on the possible proactive role of banks, driven by the profitability, and accompanied with the inappropriate quality and level of regulation, in the rise of the number of over-indebted persons in Croatia. The effect of the economic downturn on the proposed relationship is also taken into account. The analysis is based on the bank financial statements data and selected macroeconomic indicators. The goal of the paper is to describe how banks impact the consumer behavior, and consequently give incentive to the rise of personal indebtedness in Croatia.


commercial banking; consumer behavior; Croatia; personal over indebtedness


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