Following a seven-year rollercoaster rise and fall, the credit performance of Russian consumers has held steady since last summer, according to data from analytic software company FICO and National Bureau of Credit Histories (NBKI), Russia’s leading credit bureau. The FICO® Credit Health Index, which started a sharp decline in January 2012, has remained at just under 90 for months. While tracking only began in 2008, FICO and NBKI believe the current bad rate is the highest ever for Russia.
The FICO Credit Health Index measures Russia’s overall credit health, based on the percentage of consumer loans and credit cards reported to NBKI that are delinquent by more than 60 days. The April index of 89 means that 16 percent of Russian credit accounts were delinquent, compared with 14 percent one year ago and just 7 percent in January 2012.
Every one of the eight federal regions tracked is below the index’s benchmark score of 100, established in October 2008. The average drop since January 2012 has been 25 points, with Severo-Kavkazskii experiencing the largest drop of 32 points and Centralnyi experiencing the smallest drop of 15 points. The regions Centralnyi (index 93), Severo-Zapadnyi (index 93) and Privoljskii (index 91) are the only regions outperforming the total population index. Severo-Kavkazskii continues to have the lowest index value at 82, and the regions Sibirskii, Uralskii and Yujnyi also have scores below Russia’s overall score.
“Delinquencies have definitely levelled off,” said Evgeni Shtemanetyan, who directs FICO’s operations in Russia. "The long fall in the index represented a period of rapid growth in consumer credit, particularly in higher-risk credit cards. To prevent further spikes in credit risk and losses, Russian credit risk managers should seek out best practices in managing their customers, particularly those who have higher levels of unsecured debt.”
“By the beginning of 2016, the share of ‘bad’ loans in the portfolios of creditors had reached its highest point,” said Alexander Vikulin, CEO of NBKI. “Although the level of overdue loans in retail lending remains high, its growth rate is significantly lower than in 2014-2015. This makes it possible to talk about the gradual stabilisation in the retail lending market. At the same time, Russian borrowers’ ability to service their credit obligations is complicated by the continuing decline in their real incomes. Therefore, there is still a high risk that the rate of growth of overdue debts and the onset of defaults will resume."
FICO and NBKI share this data with Russian lenders to improve their understanding of the credit market, and help them extend credit to consumers safely and profitably. More than half of the top Russian banks use FICO® Scores delivered by NBKI.