MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Russian Government Considers Lowering Annual Interest Rate Cap for Payday Loans from 600% to 150%

The government of Russia recently prepared legislation that would cut the maximum effective rate on payday loans of less than RUB 30,000 (USD 505) from 600 percent to 150 percent per annum. The number of outstanding payday loans has tripled in Russia since 2015 [5], and prominent people including Margarita Pavlova, the Commissioner for Human Rights in State of Chelyabinsk, have called for a ban on the practice. However, Elvira Nabiullina, the Governor of the Bank of Russia, reportedly stated that, “The need for loans before payday will not go anywhere and people will fall into the hands of illegal ‘black creditors’ who are not regulated by the Central Bank” if there were a ban.

The Chairman of the Russia-based International Confederation of Consumer Societies, Dmitri Yanin, predicted that an interest rate cap of 150 percent would force 80 percent of payday lenders to exit the market [1, 2, 3].

By Matthew O’Neill, Research Associate

Sources and Additional Resources:

[1] Why Russian Regions Want to Ban Microcredits:
https://www.rbth.com/business/2017/06/08/why-russian-regions-want-to-ban-microcredits_779105

[2] Nabiullina Defends Microcredit:
https://lenta.ru/news/2017/06/05/nabmicro/

[3] Statement by Elvira Nabiullina at Meeting of the State Duma:
http://www.bis.org/review/r160719g.htm

[4] Commissioner in Chelyabinsk Region Calls to Ban Microfinance Companies:
http://eng.ombudsmanrf.org/events/news/regional_news/

[5] Predators of Russian Banking Track Prey in Economy’s Ruins:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-01/predators-of-russian-banking-track-their-prey-in-economy-s-ruins

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