Banks did not pass the mobilization - Newspaper Kommersant No. 220 (7421) dated 11/28/2022

Bank clients faced refusals or massive errors in providing credit holidays to mobilized citizens. Bankers acknowledge the problems, but do not see this as a violation of the law. According to lawyers, shortcomings in the legislation on credit holidays allow banks to refuse borrowers vacations for formal reasons, so the mechanism needs to be clarified.

In November, bank customers began to complain actively about the "unscrupulous approach" of banks to providing credit holidays to mobilized citizens. So, on the forum, more than a dozen complaints have accumulated about how credit organizations refuse vacations to called-up citizens or provide them with errors. Clients of Sberbank, VTB, Tinkoff Bank, Alfa Bank, etc. faced similar situations.

For example, one of the victims tells how, in connection with the mobilization of his father, he tried to get a vacation on his loan, but “the bank ignored requests in the chat, and they hung up on the hotline.” Another notes that the bank accepted the documents, but within three hours after the application was submitted, the loan holiday was refused.

Another victim says that, despite the formal approval of the credit holidays, the payment schedule has not yet been changed in the personal account, “there is a delay and penalties are dripping.”

Holidays were quite in demand among the mobilized and their relatives.

So, to date, VTB has received several thousand such applications, the vast majority of them relate to cash loans. Sovcombank approved approximately 7,000 applications. Uralsib received about 800 applications.

Banks acknowledge the difficulties. “Due to technical reasons,” some clients could experience a delay in connecting vacations, VTB explains, assuring that the bank issues state holidays and a deferment for all mobilized people who meet the program criteria.

They also talk about "technical problems" in the HCF-bank. “It took some time to finalize the settings of a technical nature,” they specify in MTS-Bank. Sberbank reported that during the peak periods of early October, “single failures were possible” due to the difficulties in issuing powers of attorney, but “now the problem is not acute.”

Alfa-Bank, Sovcombank and Gazprombank claim that vacations are provided regularly. Tinkoff Bank indicated that vacations are connected promptly when clients provide mobilization documents.

The Central Bank did not respond to Kommersant's request.

Elvira NabiullinaGovernor of the Bank of Russia, November 8:

"Banks will be able to carry out the new credit holiday program for the mobilized and their families without any problems."

According to Yegor Redin, managing partner of the law firm "Position of Law", banks are obliged to provide credit holidays to those mobilized on the basis of documents provided by a citizen. If the mobilized borrower cannot collect the entire set of documents or the bank has doubts about the information provided, the credit institution may request confirmation of the mobilized status from the Federal Tax Service.

Ekaterina Tokareva, a partner at the Pen & Paper Bar Association, notes that the bank must make a decision on granting a loan holiday within ten days from the date of application. If no response is received within 15 days, credit holidays are considered granted. “To submit an application or documents to the bank on the issue of credit holidays, a notarized power of attorney from the mobilized person is not required,” says Mr. Redin.

Lawyers believe that the credit holiday program is underdeveloped, so banks are free to refuse customers.

According to private lawyer Guzel Zhubanova, banks are refusing to provide holidays, "taking advantage of regulatory problems and difficulties for borrowers in providing the required information from war zones."

In turn, Yevgenia Lazareva, head of the Popular Front project For the Rights of Borrowers, warns that credit holidays are “not an amnesty and not a free period.” Pay, the expert emphasizes, still have to.

Julia Poslavskaya, Ekaterina Volkova

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