Russians began to check their credit history twice as often — clients of banks and MFIs requested such data more than 11 million times in 2022. This was reported to Izvestia by the National Bureau of Credit Histories (NBKI). The trend was confirmed by other market participants. It is due not only to the growth of financial literacy, but also to economic instability and more frequent refusals to issue loans, explained in financial organizations. In addition, mobilized people began to request their ratings: they should be given vacations to repay loans without a mark in their credit history. The Central Bank reminded that the check will help to find out if fraudulent loans have been issued to the client.
Trust cannot be verified
Over the past year, for the first time, borrowers were granted more than 11.1 million personal credit ratings, NBKI marketing director Alexei Volkov told Izvestia. This is significantly more than before: in 2021 – 4.9 million, in 2020 – 2.35 million, in 2019 – 0.4 million. Citizens request such information primarily to assess their own financial “dossier” and opportunities for new loans. Also, such monitoring is one of the ways to protect against credit fraud, he explained.
In 2022, almost 5 million people checked their credit history or individual rating directly on the Credistoriya platform or through bureau agents, Sharma Sandeep, OKB Retail Business Development Director, shared. He noted that in some months the number of active users of the platform was twice as high as in the same periods of 2021. The expert believes that the increase in requests was facilitated by the simplification of access to this kind of information for citizens, as well as the joint work of the Central Bank and financial organizations to increase the general level of financial knowledge of the population.
Photo: RIA Novosti / Maxim Blinov
The credit history of a citizen stores all information about the loans he has ever received. Based on this information, each client is assigned a rating that gives a general idea of the person’s financial situation. The more points in the rating, the better and higher the chance of getting approved for a loan. Individuals can request such data twice a year.
Large banks confirmed the trend of increasing the number of requests. Against the background of increasing financial literacy, Russians began to closely monitor their credit histories and request them more often, they said in Russian Standard. So, in 2022, the average monthly number of such calls in the mobile application turned out to be 30% more than a year earlier. At the same time, the number of reports has almost doubled. Since the fall, since the launch of the verification service for customers, more than 10 thousand people have recognized their indicator, Gazprombank added, noting that their number is growing every day.
A significant increase in the number of applications for a credit “dossier” was facilitated by the popularization of the service by the BCI, as well as work to improve the financial literacy of the population, including the Central Bank’s recommendations for citizens to check their data in the fight against telephone fraud, Absolut Bank believes. Otkritie said they did not record the growth of such appeals.
Photo: RIA Novosti / Kirill Kallinikov
MFO clients show particular interest in credit ratings: over the year, 4.7 million such ratings were calculated for them (+183% compared to 2021), and 1.7 million (+36%) stories were provided, a study by the NBKI and fintech group IDF Eurasia (Izvestia has). It explains: the impressive increase in the interest of borrowers is due to the increase in the financial literacy of Russians. In addition, an increase in rating raises their chances of obtaining bank loans, including credit cards and mortgages.
Participants of the microfinance market consider the fact of growing interest of individuals in credit histories and ratings as logical. Since, against the backdrop of economic instability, banks and MFIs have increased their requirements for clients, the number of refusals to provide them with loans has increased and prompted them to look for reasons in financial “dossiers,” explained the Seimer IFC. In addition, the demand for such information is justified by the requests of mobilized citizens and their family members who wished to make sure that they were granted a deferral without marks in their credit history, which they are malicious defaulters, the company knows.
Despite the crisis, the MFO market grew significantly last year due to people’s need for money, MigCredit MFC noted. Therefore, it is not surprising that borrowers began to closely monitor the state of their credit history, they argued there. The increased demand is associated with the growth of the MFI sector, the Webbankir online platform agreed. In 2022, banks seriously reduced their programs, and microloans became the only source of additional financing for many Russians.
Photo: RIA Novosti / Pavel Bednyakov
— Credit history allows you not only to look at yourself through the eyes of a financial institution in terms of evaluation as a potential borrower. The range of life situations in which it may be required is actively expanding: this is an appeal to an insurance company, employment, and others, which together lead to an increased demand for a “dossier,” said Sergey Vesovshchuk, CEO of Moneyman.
More and more people are learning about the credit history and rating check service, and the number of requests is growing proportionally, said Alexei Voylukov, vice president of the Association of Banks of Russia. Many, having received refusals against the backdrop of a tightening of the risk policy of financial organizations, became more actively interested in their “dossier” in the BCI, since it could often be spoiled by formal mass requests from financial organizations, explained Konstantin Borodulin, director of NRA banking ratings. Previously, the Central Bank advised challenging such applications and itself fined banks for requesting a credit history from the BKI without the consent of a citizen.
Photo: Izvestia / Kristina Kormilitsyna
The Central Bank is actively informing citizens about the importance of regularly checking credit history, the regulator told Izvestia. This will give them the ability to control information about liabilities and will allow them to see if a person has loans to which he is not related.
According to Sharma Sandeep from OKB, in 2023 we should expect an even greater increase in the number of customers interested in credit history. In the meantime, their share is relatively small in terms of the bureau’s entire borrower base.
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