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Swiss among the least indebted Europeans

Only 18.2 per cent of the Swiss population have loans apart from their mortgages, compared to a European average of 28.2 per cent, the Federal Statistics Office says.

The only countries whose residents were less inclined than the Swiss to have borrowings were Malta and the Netherlands.

While Germany is close to the average at 26 per cent, countries like France (42.8 per cent), Cyprus and Luxembourg (over 50 per cent) and Iceland (75 per cent) are much quicker to borrow.

Although households in French and Italian-speaking Switzerland have levels of indebtedness close to the European average, the Swiss rate is pushed down by the majority Swiss-German region, where just 15 per cent of people have debts other than for their principal residence.

More than 70 per cent of the Swiss residents surveyed in 2008 said they did not have any loans because they did not need to borrow from financial institutions. Half of this group said they could borrow from friends or family if necessary.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR