The EBRD has signed a four billion rouble (equivalent to €100 million) unsecured senior loan agreement with Russian Standard Bank (RSB), the first Russian bank to have targeted the country’s mass consumer market.
The common aim of the EBRD and RSB in this three-year loan is to finance responsible consumer lending growth in Russia and to enhance transparency on loan terms in the consumer lending sector.
“One of the reasons the EBRD chose RSB for this ground-breaking loan is, apart from its position as a market leader, the bank’s commitment to these principles, which we see as supporting a responsible growth of Russian retail consumption. The EBRD expects them to have a demonstration effect on other Russian lenders and stimulate competition in the sector,” said Nick Tesseyman, EBRD Managing Director for Financial Institutions.
This is the EBRD’s second loan to the Russia’s consumer finance sector this year.
Since the first half of 2010 consumer lending and spending have begun to return to pre-crisis levels in Russia. Consumer credit penetration in Russia, only 6 per cent of GDP in 2009 compared with 11 per cent in central and eastern Europe, is forecast to double to 12 per cent of Russian GDP by 2013.
RSB played a pioneering role in the launch of consumer financing in Russia. Today it is the market leader in credit cards and is the leading consumer lender among privately owned banks. RSB is well established in the market and proved to be resilient during the financial and economic crisis in 2008-09.
RSB has been an EBRD client since 2002, but this is its first transaction with the EBRD since 2007.
One of Russia’s top 30 banks, RSB has over 15,000 employees and an extensive distribution network with a presence in 75 of the country’s 83 regions, covering over 90 per cent of the Russian population.