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Yevgeny Strelnikov, Associate Professor at the USUE Department of Financial Markets and Banking, about consumer credit cooperatives

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 10/11/2017

Credit consumer cooperation (CCC), which originated in Russia at the dawn of the twentieth century in the form of mutual benefit funds at large enterprises, is now dying out. The report of the Bank of Russia on the development of this segment of the financial market says that the popularity of co-operatives among the population is very low though potentially it could replace microfinance institutions (MFI), which lend money under extremely high interest rates. Today, there are only 1.3 million CCC members across the country, that is 0.9 percent of its population.

Yevgeny Strelnikov,  Associate Professor at the USUE Department of Financial Markets and Banking, comments:

- The Bank of Russia adheres to the position of requirements toughening not only to the credit consumer cooperatives but also to other entities operating in the microfinance market (this also includes microfinance and microcredit organizations and pawnbrokers). As for CCC, the situation is further complicated because their owners do not invest their own funds in business but exist at the expense of attracting citizens' money. To make people bring their savings to a co-operative, they need to offer them favorable terms, a high interest rate. In the pursuit of money in 2015-2016, many cooperatives turned into a kind of financial pyramids. Partly, such a toughened control by the Central Bank is due to it. I consider such a policy quite acceptable, albeit tough. Of course, among the CCC, there are also bona fide players, and today it is difficult for them to compete with other financial institutions. I think most of them will survive and, despite the reduction in volumes, will take their place in the architecture of the financial market that the Central Bank is building.

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Банк России придерживается позиции ужесточения требований не только к кредитным потребительским кооперативам, но и к другим структурам, работающим на рынке микрофинансирования.

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