Report: Banks Increased Credit Card Issuance by 23%

Russian banks have issued 23% more credit cards in the period between January-July this year than the same period last year – 5.45 million compared to 4.43 million, credit history bureau Equifax told RIA Novosti.

At the same time, the amount of funds for which credit cards were issued increased by 44% or 350 billion rubles.

Analysts noted that the maximum volume of credit cards should be expected in November-December.

“On the one hand, there is increased demand from consumers, and on the other hand, banks are trying to fulfill annual business plans for the sale of credit products,” analysts explain, recalling that in 2018 and 2017, about a quarter was issued of all credit cards in those years.

In the summer, Russian financial authorities began heated discussions on consumer lending. The head of the Ministry of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin, in particular, stated that the situation in this segment is acquiring the features of a social problem. According to him, 15% of Russian borrowers spend more than 70% of their income on paying off debts.

For its part, the head of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina on Friday said that the debt burden of Russians is growing primarily due to stagnation of income. According to Nabulina, the dynamics of real incomes of the population of the Russian Federation is unsatisfactory, and this problem should be solved on the basis of economic growth.

The Bank of Russia, despite the rapid growth in consumer loans, does not yet see risks to financial stability and the need for restrictive measures, she said.