Posted 12 января 13:33

Published 12 января 13:33

Modified 12 января 17:51

Updated 12 января 17:51

Already in the first quarter, banks will start massively raising interest rates on loans

12 января 2023, 13:33
Bankers have prepared in advance for the predicted tightening from the Central Bank and are about to change the terms of lending. Borrowing at interest will become even more expensive.

Yekaterina Maximova

The cost of borrowing federal loan bonds has already adjusted the rates on long loans - since January 2023, rates have increased.

Next, short money will also rise in price, that is, consumer lending. 

From the first working days of 2023, some Russian banks, one by one, began to raise mortgage rates. So, since January 10, mortgages (primary and secondary) from Sberbank have risen in price by 0.5% to 10.9%.  On January 12, Alfa-Bank announced an increase in the interest rate on its own mortgage lending programs by 0.2% to 12.29 -12.79% per annum. Tightened the conditions on preferential mortgages for new buildings (and for the construction of a house, and for the purchase of an apartment) and the Bank "Dom. RF". 

And this is just the beginning. "There is an expectation that the monetary policy of the Central Bank will tighten. The regulator in its reports directly points to pro-inflationary risks. This means that if inflation starts to rise, the Central Bank will start raising the key rate. Many analysts put its increase in their forecasts", - explained Yaroslav Kabakov, Director of Strategy at Finam. 

Igor Safonov, an expert at the HSE Development Center Institute, also predicts a tightening of the Central Bank's monetary policy. It may be announced by the end of the first quarter.

 "Everything depends on the dynamics of inflation and what happens to it. But with inflation likely to accelerate in the middle of this year, we predict that the Central Bank will start raising the rate. Accordingly, banks also have an expectation for a rate increase and they put their risks into credit products. These bets reflect all the uncertainty about the future that we all experience. This is such a general trend - the transfer of risks associated with a possible change in the key rate," the economist added. 

Simply put, those Russians who have a need for lending should contact the bank now, without waiting for the end of the first quarter. "Yes, it may be a good solution", - Igor Safonov believes. 

Analysts of the Institute of Economic Policy named after Gaidar predicts an early acceleration of inflation. And if, on the contrary, annual inflation slows down to 5% at the beginning of 2023, then from May quarterly seasonally-smoothed inflation will begin to accelerate. To which the Central Bank will react. 

And the value of the key rate at which banks take money from the Central Bank in order to then issue them to the population in the form of loans directly affects interest rates for all types of lending. 

In 2022, the regulator, which is unprecedented, changed the key rate many times. And six times in a row I decided to lower it. Since October last year, the key rate has not been revised (7.5% per annum). From which it can be concluded that Elvira Nabiullina's department has completed the cycle of monetary policy easing. 

And, as the deputy chairman of the Ural Banking Union, Yevgeny Bolotin, noted, with the growth in the cost of money attracted, banks need to raise rates in order to preserve the economic meaning of their activities. 

Another reason why credit institutions "ahead of schedule" have taken a course to increase the cost of loans is related to the cost of borrowing federal loan bonds. And the first circle of buyers of  federal loan bonds, we recall, includes the banking sector. In 2023, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has repeatedly stated that the Finance Ministry intends to cover the state budget deficit mainly at the expense of federal loan bonds. 

As noted  Igor Safonov, the profitability of long-term  federal loan bonds directly affects the rates on mortgage and other long-term loans.

 "Taking into account the growing deficit of the state budget and, accordingly, the growth of the profitability of  federal loan bonds - yes, mortgage rates will increase. At the moment, we do not see any prerequisites for lowering interest rates on long-term loans.  It is difficult to say to what extent they will increase. Shorter-term loans (with a loan term of 1-5 years) still, they depend more on the Central Bank's monetary policy cycle. And in this segment of lending, banks are still at the same level against the background of the expectation of an increase in the key rate, they will raise interest on short loans", - Safonov explained. There is a demand - there are offers

According to Yaroslav Kabakov, the activity of borrowers also influenced the policy of banks - credit organizations did not miss the moment and are playing back a certain surge of consumer interest in borrowed money.  

 

"We saw a slight weakening of the ruble and against this background there was an increase in consumer lending. Consumers, especially before the New Year holidays, have slightly perked up. This stimulated consumer lending, among other things. And against the background of the threat of closing the preferential mortgage program at the end of 2022, the mortgage sector also revived. There is a demand - there is a supply.  I think that now it is quite possible to adjust within a month. If suddenly we see a sharp decline in consumer activity, and this is a factor that will lead to a decrease in inflation, it is likely that banks will even begin to lower rates to attract consumers", - Yaroslav Kabakov said.

Evgeny Bolotin adds that consumer lending is more competitive. And it is more difficult for bankers to raise rates there: there is a risk of losing market share at the same time.  But for potential mortgagees, get ready. Following Sberbank, the market leader in mortgage lending, and other financial and credit organizations may begin to raise mortgage rates. However, Bolotin does not rule out that the trend set in January from Sberbank will not be massive, given the small number of players in the mortgage lending segment. In addition, since 2022, this product has been held mainly at the expense of borrowers on preferential mortgages.