How did microfinance organizations increase their loan portfolio?

How did microfinance organizations increase their loan portfolio?

Microfinance organizations issued 1 trillion rubles to clients last year. The Central Bank published market results for 2023. According to the regulator’s calculations, the total volume of the portfolio increased by 30% compared to 2022. Loans to individuals increased by a quarter, to 362 billion rubles, this is only debt without interest. The growth is observed despite new restrictions. Last year, for example, the Central Bank introduced limits for clients with high debt loads and set a ceiling on the total cost of a loan in microfinance organizations. Now it is 292% per annum.

Due to which microfinance companies were able to increase their loan portfolio, Elman Mehdiyev, head of the self-regulatory organization MiR, told Kommersant FM: “In 2020-2021, there were a lot of investments in digital technologies. If previously the territorial accessibility of microfinance organizations was important, now it is technological. At the end of 2020, when offline was virtually frozen due to COVID-19, companies realized the importance of investing online. This gave an excellent result in 2021, a super result in 2022, and a super result squared in 2023.

But then the Bank of Russia came and announced that new rules would now apply. In the fourth quarter, it was MFOs that began to experience a slowdown in lending due to the introduction of macroprudential limits.

As for the MFO audience, no one is interested in the interest rate, unless we are talking about cars and mortgages, that is, about “heavy” products. When it comes to small amounts, even bank clients only ask about how much to pay per month, and not about the interest rate. This is unfortunately true. It’s not even a matter of financial literacy or carelessness, but the fact that for small amounts and for short periods of time, the availability of funds is much more important to them.

This year, I believe, the market growth will continue, but not as strong as in 2023. I would cut it in half, if we talk about the pace. But the share of the largest market participants will grow, because those who invested in technology will simply take the share of the leaving players.”

The Central Bank confirms that the role of remote sales has grown in the past year. 78% of microloans were taken out online. A study by on the goals of borrowers showed that most often Russians take money before payday. In second place is the purchase of medicines. The third is the need to repay previously issued loans.

According to the Central Bank, more than 10 million Russians are served with at least two loans. Independent expert on financial markets Alexey Bushuev believes that this number may further increase: “We see that the market for microfinance organizations is being streamlined, including the possibility of putting a voluntary block on issuing loans and everything connected with this. Therefore, we can expect a background increase in the number of such loans, as well as banking products.

Demand for MFOs, it seems to me, is still a more emotional impulse, when a person wants to get money here and now, quickly, without reasoning, without collecting any minimum documents, and so on. These companies operate on impulse demand.

If an economic entity copes with its impulse, then, as a rule, it resolves the issue for less money. Here I would consider the main factor as a whole to be the question of the frustration of society, that is, its collapse into panic. Actually, that’s how it was with pawnshops back in the day.”

Market participants also see prospects for the development of the industry. In particular, the head of the Seimer company, Roman Makarov, spoke about this when announcing plans hold an IPO. The microfinance organization plans to sell shares worth 3 billion rubles. and then pay dividends four times a year. The money is going to be spent on structuring mergers and acquisitions.

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Ivan Yakunin

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