Debts of Russians to banks for the first time exceeded 27 trillion rubles

The total debt of Russians on loans to banks has reached a new record. As of December 1, 2022, citizens owed 27.09 trillion rubles to credit institutions, or 2.5 trillion more than a year earlier, Izvestia writes, citing data from the Central Bank.

Over the year, the indicator increased by 10%, and 80% of the increase in debts was provided by mortgages, the regulator noted. At the same time, out of 27.09 trillion, only about 12 trillion are consumer loans. After a sharp increase in the key rate to 20% at the end of February in March-April 2022, the issuance of loans in all segments decreased, but already in the summer-autumn, as the rate was reduced, the processing of loans returned to the previous level, says the Marketing Director of the National Bureau of Credit Histories (NBKI ) Alexey Volkov.

According to the BCI “Scoring Bureau”, the debt portfolio of Russians increased by more than 12% over the year. Mortgage was the leader in terms of growth – the portfolio of such loans grew by 37%, notes Oleg Lagutkin, CEO of the organization. According to him, the growth of mortgages was supported by state housing lending programs and marketing zero rates in joint proposals of banks and developers.

Banks confirm an increase in loan issuance in 2022, but so far do not see a significant increase in the level of overdue debt. For example, at Novikombank, the retail loan portfolio grew by 38.6%, while the share of non-performing loans was less than 1%. In VTB, for 11 months of 2022, the size of the loan portfolio increased by 5.9%, to 4.96 trillion rubles, of which 2.9 trillion are mortgages.

However, the risks of growth in the debt load of Russians remain, as the proportion of citizens who use borrowed funds is increasing, while real incomes are falling against the backdrop of inflation, says Valery Piven, senior director of ACRA. Part of the population is already experiencing a high debt load due to the aggressive policy of some banks that are ready to lend to the least solvent categories of borrowers, said Ivan Belyaev, director of the retail sales department at Novikombank.

Most Russians do not have a financial “airbag” and are forced to take loans during the crisis, says the founder of Anderida Financial group Alexey Tarpovsky. Russians are also being affected by rising prices, he said, with many taking out loans to buy expensive goods at a lower price.

The level of overdue debt in 2022 increased by 16%, but its growth rate slowed down compared to the pandemic period, says Elman Mehdiyev, president of SRO NAPCA. If there are no sharp shocks in 2023, the debt will grow by another 15-20%, the expert predicts.

The majority of Russians (61%) consider loans to be a direct road to debt, according to a recent survey by the Superjob service. In 2021, there were 50% of supporters of this judgment, and in 2020 – 47%. Only 13% of Russians believe that a loan is a great opportunity to get what they want right away. In 2007, they were 47%.

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