Russians owe banks 13.5 trillion rubles
Russian total banking debt volume increased by 26% from the beginning of this year to 13.49 trillion rubles, according to the National Rating Agency (NRA).
The agency said that in the period from January to May the banks' total loan portfolio increased by 5% to 34.14 trillion rubles.
Senior vice president of Sberbank, head of the Wealth Management department Alexander Bondarenko believes that the retail loan growth indicates that the Russians are gradually recovering from the crisis of 2014-2015.
The vice-rector of the Academy of Labour and Social Relations Alexander Safonov, speaking to a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the retail loan growth is higher than Russians' salaries growth. "First, there is a category of citizens stable in the labor market - employees of the fuel and energy complex. Now they have certain bright hopes that oil prices have stabilized for a long time, which means that they can again take credits with confidence in their future. There are also budget workers, who have been paid higher salaries now," he said.
"But there is another side in this situation. The same credit bureau shows that about 60% of new loans are used to repay old debts. A significant portion of people go to so-called microfinance organizations, because their incomes are not enough," Alexander Safonov noted.
"We do not see any growth in retail sales in the first quarter. If people take loans to return their pre-crisis standard of living, they would spend extra money to buy some goods," the vice-rector of the Academy of Labor and Social Relations stressed.
Professor of the RANEPA faculty of Finance, Money Circulation and Credit, Yuri Yudenkov, drew attention to more active work of banks with potential clients. "Bank's lending rates are more or less normal now," he said.
Such efforts of banks are connected with the fact that it is easier to lend to the population than business. "In addition, the banks have already become smart enough to determine to which client how much money can be given to reduce risk," Yudenkov said.