In April, Russian banks issued 1.04 million credit cards, down 5.1% from March, according to a study by the National Bureau of Credit Histories (NBCH). Negative monthly dynamics in this segment was recorded for the first time this year.
Since the beginning of 2021, the number of credit cards received by Russians has grown. In February, the indicator showed positive annual dynamics, which remained in March as well, that is, the segment in question exceeded the pre-pandemic level.
“Although in 2021 the issuance of credit cards is recovering at a fairly good pace, exceeding last year’s indicators, in April, compared to March, it was recorded a decrease. In general, the recovery of the credit card segment is associated with their manufacturability and convenience, ”said Alexei Volkov, NBKI Marketing Director.
According to him, banks continue to adhere to a conservative policy in issuing credit cards and provide them to citizens with a low level of debt burden and a high personal credit rating. In general, it is possible to manage credit risk in the credit card segment with the help of limits on them, and for clients this tool is attractive due to favorable conditions: for example, grace periods for interest payments or cashback, Volkov explained.
However, despite the monthly drop, in annual terms in April there was a significant increase in issuance – 163.9%. The fact is that in the same month of 2020, banks issued a total of 390,000 credit cards to citizens. This is due to the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions imposed because of it.
The largest reduction in the issuance of new credit cards in April this year compared to March among the 30 leading regions in terms of this type of lending was recorded in the Stavropol and Krasnodar Territories – 14.7% and 12.1%, respectively. The top 5 also includes the Rostov region (-10.9%), Primorsky (-9.2%) and Khabarovsk (-8.9%) regions. In Moscow and St. Petersburg, the decline was 2.8% and 0.9%, respectively.
Analysts recorded positive dynamics only in one region of the country – the Udmurt Republic. However, the growth there was insignificant – 0.1%.