According to market reports, over 50% of total European securitization issuance in 2002 was consumer risk-related. The big question this year is how the consumer will behave, and research conducted in the Netherlands seems to provide some preliminary answers.

According to Dresdner Klienwort Wasserstein, the Netherlands is one of the four countries that dominate consumer issuance. Between 1995 and 2001, consumer indebtedness has risen to 190% from 100% in the Netherlands; the U.K. and Germany recorded a more stable increase at 110%. No figures were available for Spain. "The rise in indebtedness in the Netherlands can be strongly attributed to investment in the housing market to maximize tax benefits, and to the rise in house prices, particularly between 1995 and 2001," explained analysts.

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