Russian banks ease loan terms as crisis fades
MOSCOW: Russian banks eased conditions for both private and corporate borrowers in the third quarter due to greater competition, easier access to funds and an upturn in the general economy, the central bank said on Thursday.
Banks across Russia lowered interest rates and fees after Russia's benchmark refinancing interest rate fell to a record low of 7.75 percent in June, according to a quarterly Central Bank survey of lending conditions at 49 large Russia banks.
"Credit availability for all categories of borrowers continued to rise, and the conditions of bank lending for different categories of borrowers softened comparably," the central bank said in a statement.
Conditions for all borrowers improved for the second quarter in a row as the government predicted the economy would grow around 4 percent this year after contracting 7.9 percent in 2009, its worst performance for 15 years.
The average rate Russian banks charged businesses for rouble credit fell to 8.9 percent in October, its lowest level since monitoring began in 1998, according to central bank figures.
Private borrowers enjoyed a more significant easing in conditions than corporates in the third quarter and were allowed to borrow larger sums than before, the survey said.
Better loan conditions for individuals were seen in 75 percent of banks, with improvements relatively consistent across Russia's regions.
Corporate borrowers were allowed to take loans for longer periods than before and the requirements regarding their financial health were softened. Less than twothirds of banks eased conditions for corporates, the survey said. - PB News