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Bank of Russia receives much fewer complaints against banks

4 August 2021

In the first half of 2021, the Bank of Russia received over 125,000 complaints from financial consumers, which is 15.6% less year-on-year.1

This improvement was mainly associated with a lower number of complaints against banks dropping by nearly a third (to 74,400), which was because of the reduced scale of loan restructuring compared to 2020 H1. An important factor in this regard was the regulator’s explanations to borrowers and recommendations to creditors.

The number of complaints against microfinance organisations (MFOs) about overdue debt recovery, which is the main issue, continued to trend downwards (by 10.6%). This was the result of the conduct supervision measures implemented in relation to non-compliant MFOs. However, the overall number of complaints against MFOs rose (by 23.3% to 15,200) due to violations of consumers’ rights by an informal group of three MFOs that the Bank of Russia has already removed from the market.

In January—June, the number of complaints against non-governmental pension funds received by the regulator decreased twofold (590) owing to changes in the rules for the transfer from one pension fund into another and, accordingly, a reduction in individuals’ investment income losses.

Contrastingly, the number of complaints about frauds surged 2.4 times (to 5,100). Criminals call people and send them emails with links to phishing websites in order to receive bank card details or persuade victims under various pretexts to transfer funds on their own.

The number of complaints against insurers soared (by 21.3% to 18,200), which is explained by the low base effect: during the lockdown in April—May 2020, there was a considerable reduction in the frequency of insured events and the sale of OSAGO (compulsory motor third-party liability insurance) policies.

Beginning from April, the number of complaints about misselling — the sale of a financial product through its misrepresentation — has been decreasing. This is owing to the recommendations given by the Bank of Russia to limit sales of insurance products with an investment component to customers lacking special knowledge in finance. However, this number generally increased as of the end of 2021 H1, namely by 37.8% year-on-year (to a total of 1,700).

1 Taking into account combined complaints on several issues at a time, each of which the Bank of Russia records as a separate complaint beginning from 2021, the overall number of complaints reached 145,700 in January—June 2021.

Preview photo: Daniel Heighton / Shutterstock / Fotodom