Interest & Corporate Loan Monitor

FCF regularly conducts comprehensive research regarding the German corporate loan and interest market, based on publically available information. The results are updated and published quarterly in the


The FCF Interest and Corporate Loan Monitor provides valuable information regarding the prevailing macro-economic environment as well as the corporates loan and bank markets and covers the following topics:

  • macro-economic environment
  • currently prevailing interest rate environment
  • current developments of credit margins
  • behavior of the bank within the corporate loan market

The most important insights of the acurrent issue:

The interest rate-turnaround is still in full force and effect – after four decades of declining interest rates
    • The average interest rates for corporate loans in Germany ("loan interest rates") across all sectors and rating classes have reached a peak of well over 10% in the early 1980s, which was followed by almost 40 years of declining interest rates (down to approx. 1%) until 2016
    • From 2016 to 2022, i.e. for a period of more than 6 years, interest rates have been fluctuating around the historic low of approx. 1.0% to 1.5% and have hence bottomed-out in the long-term view
    • Since the beginning of 2022, an initially moderate but in the second quarter 2022 increasingly rapid increase in loan interest rates up to 4.0% in Oct. 2022 could be observed, driven by high inflation rates in Germany, the eurozone and the US, as well as significantly higher credit margins of the lending banks (compensating the banks for possible higher default risks)
    • As of November 2022, the rise in interest rates has slowed somewhat, with lending rates even fall-ing slightly to around 3.8%. Currently, interest rates increased slightly again and are at around 4.0% as of February 2023
    • Recent interest rates hikes have been dramatic, with increases of more than 60% (150bps) within the quarters Q3-Q4/2022. Despite the temporary stabilization, a further increase in in-terest rates is expected – due to the continuing high inflation and additional indicated hikes in key interest rates. Companies already have to pay the highest interest rates for the last eight years for new loan financings
Current financing environment currently still positive
    • Historically – viewed over a 40-year period – interest rates are currently still at a comparably low level, albeit with an upward trend
    • Banks expect improving lending terms & conditions for Q1/2023
      • however, the development of lending terms & conditions during the last few quarters fell short of the banks' positive expectations
      • empirical observations and feedback by companies in the market show both increasing refer-ence interest rates as well as credit margins; further terms & conditions (e.g. maturity, cove-nants, securities, etc.) appear to be stable to slightly stricter
    • During the past twelve months, especially the foreign banks have significantly expanded their lending volumes, while the other banking groups have already started to become somewhat more cautious
    • The banking market is currently still very receptive to new financing with comparatively bene-ficial terms & conditions – especially for companies with high credit ratings (e.g. Investment Grade and good sub-investment grade). However, this window could close rather rapidly over the next few months, particularly for companies with lower ratings in the non-investment grade "BB"-range and below
Macroeconomic data point to further interest rate hike(s)
    • Inflation in Germany has since fallen back from its peak (above 11% in October 2022) to its current level of 8.9%, but like the core inflation rate adjusted for energy and food (4.8%), it remains well above the 2% inflation target of the European Central Bank (ECB)
    • In the eurozone the harmonized consumer price index has reached 8.5%, with core inflation rate now also at 4.7% – both significantly above the ECB inflation target of 2%
    • In all 19 countries of the eurozone, inflation is currently well above ECB's inflation target of 2%
    • In the US, inflation has meanwhile fallen from over 9% to below 6.5% again, after the FED an-nounced interest rate hikes at the end of January 2022 and in the meantime has already raised the key interest rates eight times by a total of 4.50% to 4.75%
    • Despite its 5th interest rate hike by 0.50% to now 3.0%, ECB will further increase the key inter-est rates. The bond purchase program has already been terminated to a large extent and addi-tional key interest rate hikes have been implicitly announced. The expected additional indebt-edness of Germany as well as other EU countries in connection with the COVID19 and the Ukraine crises indicate additional short to medium-term interest rate increases


The FCF SmallCap / MidCap research reports are periodically updated and cover eight specific sectors as well as certain general capital market developments. Based on the data of publicly listed European corporates, the respective sector and market are individually analyzed. Our systematic analyses include information to, amongst others:

Sector Research

Automotive Supplier Market Study
Research on the automotive supplier sector based on available data from European automotive suppliers.

European Chemicals Market Study
Research on the chemicals sector based on available data from European chemical companies.

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Industrial Machinery Market Study
Research on the industrial machinery sector based on available data from European industrial machinery companies.

Metals and Materials Market Study CoverMetals & Materials Market Study
Research on the metals & materials sector based on available data from European metals & materials producers.

Logistics & Transportation Market Study
Research on the logistics and transport sector based on publicly available data from European logistics and transportation providers.

European Infrastructure & Construction Market Study
Research on the logistics and transport sector based on publicly available data from European logistics and transportation providers.

Pharmaceutical Market Study CoverEuropean Pharmaceutical Market Study
Research on the pharma sector based on available data from European pharma companies.

Pharmaceutical Market Study CoverTMT Market Study
Research on the TMT sector based on available data from European TMT companies.

Market Research

The FCF market research covers e.g. fundamental analysis of interest rate and margin development in the German corporate lending / debt market, development of the rating and credit standing of banks addressing the German MidCap corporate lending market, etc.

Bank Monitor
Analysis of the historic and current spreads of credit default swaps for banks most active in the German corporate lending market.

IPO Market Monitor
Providing relevant valuation metrics (e.g. ratios, multiples), general information and performance data of European IPOs that have been issued within the last six months.

Valuation Monitor
The FCF Valuation Monitor is a comprehensive quarterly valuation analysis (e.g. ratios and multiples) for the German small / midcap market segment of selected industry sectors.

Credit Monitor
Comprehensive analysis of the interest rate environment and loan market for corporates in Germany.


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