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Additional measures to support lending to small and medium-sized enterprises

27 March 2020
Press release

Taking into consideration current economic developments and the necessity to provide additional support to the most vulnerable economic sectors and citizens in the context of the pandemic, joining efforts with the Russian Federation Government to elaborate support measures for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) ensuring they pay wages, the Bank of Russia decided to refine the parameters of the new Bank of Russia SME lending support facility with the established aggregate limit of 500 billion rubles.

As part of the specified aggregate limit, up to 150 billion rules will be allocated to support bank lending to SMEs to ensure uninterrupted fulfilment of their obligation to pay wages. Bank of Russia loans issued for these aims will be also provided to credit institutions at interest rates of 4.00% p.a. with maturities of up to one year. The maximum volume of lending received by each credit institution will be calculated on the basis of its portfolio of loans issued to SMEs to fulfil their wage payment obligations in line with the programme approved by the Russian Federation Government. Over the first six months, the interest rate on bank loans issued to SMEs under the specified government programme shall not exceed the upper limit set by the programme. No additional limits or requirements for the volume of loan portfolios of credit institutions are established for the provision of Bank of Russia loans for the specified total amount of 150 billion rubles.

As for loans provided in the framework of the remaining part of the total limit of 500 billion rubles, the regulator has adjusted the calculation procedure for the maximum amount of funds to be provided to each credit institution. This amount will now be calculated as the difference between a bank’s portfolio of ruble loans issued to SMEs as of the first day of a current month (less the outstanding amount on loans issued to ensure wage payments) and the size of this portfolio as of 1 April 2020 reduced by 5% (earlier, it was suggested that this calculation be made on the basis of the portfolio as of 1 March 2020).

Besides, the reduction of the portfolio of ruble loans provided to SMEs (including the outstanding amount on loans issued to ensure wage payments), as of the first day of a current month, below 95% of the size of the respective portfolio as of 1 April 2020 will no longer serve as a ground for the Bank of Russia to demand early repayment of loans banks receive under this facility. Additionally, if the current size of the portfolio goes below 95% of its size as of 1 April 2020, the interest rate on loans already received by banks (excluding SME loans issued to ensure wage payments under the government programme) will be raised to 5.00% p.a., and if the portfolio size falls below 85%, the interest rate will be raised to the amount of the key rate plus 1 pp.

Loans under the new facility aimed at supporting SME lending, including loans for ensuring wage payments, will be issued to credit institutions with a high credit rating1 in the form of unsecured loans, and to credit institutions without such rating — under the guarantee of JSC RSMB Corporation.

1 Credit institutions which have at least one credit rating assigned by one of the credit rating agencies, being not lower than the AA(RU) in the classification of the credit rating agency ACRA (JSC) or ruAA in the classification of the credit rating agency JSC Expert RA.

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