Almost 80% of Russians admitted problems with repayment of loans

The vast majority of Russians and entrepreneurs admitted that they were not sure of their own ability to repay their loans. Experts record a sharp increase in uncertainty on the part of borrowers and predict that in the near future their number will only continue to grow. Kommersant writes about this with reference to a survey by Kept (formerly KPMG) , in which 2,000 Russians and representatives of small and medium-sized businesses took part.

The growing credit uncertainty of Russians is a wake-up call for banks, which may face an increase in bad debts and a reduction in lending. Olga Blednova, director of the practice for providing consulting services to companies in the financial sector Kept, notes that since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the share of “uncertain” Russians has doubled, at the moment only 23% of Russians and entrepreneurs who are credit clients of Russian banks have declared confidence in paying off their debts.

“For banks, this means, firstly, a high risk of growth in overdue debt in future periods, and secondly, the need to work out risk reduction tools for the loan portfolio and revise risk strategies,” explains Blednova.

The banks themselves do not notice the growing problem yet. A representative of Sberbank said that the loan portfolio demonstrates stability among both retail and business clients of the bank. The share of overdue debt for a period of one day or more in the loan portfolio is at the level of 1.5%, which is the lowest value in recent years, Sberbank assured. A representative of Absolut Bank acknowledged that there is a downward trend - customers have a reduced amount of free funds on their accounts, but these problems have not yet affected the loan portfolio.

Independent expert Andrei Barkhota notes that in April-May the share of bad debts in the portfolio of banks increased by 15%. “This means that during this period at least every seventh borrower has lost the ability to service their loans,” the expert explains. Barkhota is convinced that the share of bad debts will continue to grow in the future and will reach 25-30% by the end of the year.

In addition to the growth in the number of bad loans, the banking sector expects a slowdown in lending in general in the near future. Experts note that uncertainty is forcing citizens to save more and save. According to Kept, more than 93% of respondents plan to cut costs, while for banks this means a drop in interest income and business margins.

The pressure on the incomes of Russians began to be exerted by the labor market, in June the Minister of Labor and Social Protection Anton Kotyakov admitted that official unemployment began to grow in the country. According to him, the pressure on the market "is starting to build up."

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