MOSCOW, February 27 – RIA Novosti. Russian banks in January tightened their approval of credit cards to a multi-year minimum – only 28% of all applications received a positive response, as a result the amount of plastic issued was cut by half, RIA Novosti was told at the Equifax credit bureau. At the same time, the Russians who received the “green light” from the bank are withdrawing cards at a record pace.
According to the company, last month the number of issued “plastic” decreased by 45% compared to December and by 17% compared to January last year – to 578 thousand credit cards.
Although the average limit on credit cards grew slightly – by 0.6%, to 65.2 thousand rubles, this could not support the volume of loans, which fell by 43% over the month – to 37.7 billion rubles.
“The decrease in the issuance of credit cards in January is due to two main factors: first of all, seasonality, and secondly, the conservative approaches of lenders. For example, in January 2020, issuance of cards decreased by 35%, and an additional 10 percentage points of the decrease in January 2021 are explained a lower level of approvals – in the banking system as a whole, 28% of applications for credit cards were approved, whereas a year earlier – 37%, “said Oleg Lagutkin, CEO of Equifax. The company added that the rate for approval of credit cards in January is the lowest level in several years.
The Russians, for whom the credit card has been approved, are taking them with more excitement than before, the company said. Thus, the level of conversion of approved applications into an issued card increased over the year from 36% to a record 59%.
The Central Bank reported last week that Russian banks have increased their retail loan portfolio by 0.8% – to 20.5 trillion rubles.