Getting a loan is now more difficult than ever. The bankers themselves thought so. The Central Bank published the results of a survey on lending conditions. As it turned out, in the corporate segment the rigidity in choosing a borrower was comparable to the spring of 2022, when the key rate was 20%, and for individuals it even exceeded that period. The unavailability of credit is determined by several parameters, writes the Central Bank.
First, there was the interest rate, which made the loan more expensive. In addition, more stringent financial requirements became a problem for the population, and in the mortgage segment, an increase in the down payment played a role. What do market participants say about this?
Deputy Chairman of the Board of Fora Bank Dmitry Orlov confirms the regulator’s conclusions: “I probably agree that now, if it is not more difficult to get a loan, then from the point of view of issuing it there are more restrictions. These include additional surcharges that have appeared, and the need to check the full debt load, as well as publish all information about the full cost of the loan, that is, everything that can complicate the issuance procedure is now applied.
In a sense, this is a counter-movement between banks and the regulator. Of course, we control the risks that arise when lending. Life and the economic situation change, and we naturally adapt. Nevertheless, without external influence from the regulator, perhaps the market would have been softer.
The banking market is currently quite stable. Please note that last year, if I’m not mistaken, not a single banking license was revoked. The market is developing, money is being earned, businesses and citizens are receiving loans, these are very good indicators.”
Last year, banks made record profits, largely due to growth in loan portfolios. The biggest surge in mortgages is plus 35%. Consumer lending grew by 16%, and corporate lending by 20%. In December, as calculated by the Central Bank, growth slowed. The banks themselves expect further tightening of credit conditions for retail clients.
Why is this necessary, suggested Pavel Samiev, director of the BusinessDrom agency: “Banks have not yet noticed any significant deterioration, for example, in the quality of portfolios, it is there, but not so radical. The Central Bank proactively introduced a number of measures designed to cool some market segments and reduce the dynamics of loans to borrowers who already have a high debt load, for example.
Now it turns out that the regulator was proactive, and this is what determines the dynamics of issues, approvals and, accordingly, requirements for borrowers.
This is an adjustment in the behavior of consumers, who are often too keen on loans and so on. In connection with monetary policy, the Central Bank sees the need for these measures, which may become even stricter, that is, this process can continue.
I think that the main measures that relate, for example, to mortgages have already been implemented, and it is unlikely that any further significant changes can be expected in the coming year. But we shouldn’t expect a weakening of the requirements either, that is, from the current level of regulatory requirements we are unlikely to return to those that were a year or two ago.”
Currently the key rate is 16%. The next meeting of the Central Bank will take place on Friday, February 16. So far, market participants interviewed by Kommersant FM expect that the figure will not change. The head of the Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, noted that she sees room for a rate cut in the second half of the year. The Ministry of Finance noted that this will happen no earlier than the fourth quarter.
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