In the January to June 2020 period, the Bank of Russia received a total of 148.4 thousand complaints from financial consumers — a rise of 15.2% vs the same period in 2019.
The growth owes its origin mainly to the number of applications for loan restructuring related to adverse national epidemiological conditions. Yet, the number of such complaints saw a drastic reduction as early as June, on the back of declining numbers of applications for restructuring, the Bank of Russia’s consumer protection measures and explanations about working procedures for loan repayment holidays.
In the first half of 2020, banks were subjects of 106.6 thousand complaints (up 44.1% vs January-June 2020). Complaints about consumer lending were up 1.6 times, those about mortgage lending — 2.4 times and those about corporate lending — 9.9 times. Most of this rise occurred in April 2020 on the back of issues related to the fallout from the pandemic (loan restructuring).
Insurance companies between January and June 2020 were involved in 15.0 thousand complaints (a 34.7% drop), of which 12.0 thousand were connected with compulsory motor third-party liability insurance (a 35.2% drop). While the number of complaints dropped somewhat between April and May, it went up slightly in June, driven by resumed economic activity nationwide after the lockdown.
The number of complaints against microfinance companies dropped 12.0% against 2019 H1 to 12.3 thousand. The most drastic decline was seen in the number of complaints about actions to enforce repayment of debt to microfinance companies — 43,5%. The change comes as a result of the Bank of Russia’s target actions as part of its conduct supervision strategies.
Collective investment entities between January and June logged a 3.7% reduction in complaints about their operations; complaints related to corporate relations saw a 39.4% drop. The 70.8% uptick in complaints about securities market players was caused by the sharp drop in WTI prices and suspended futures trading at the Moscow Exchange on 20 April. Excluding complains related to these developments, 2020 H1 growth vs the same period in 2019 would have been below 5%.
Misselling featured in 1.3 thousand complaints between January and June. Issues related to investment life insurance still top the list of problems (51.6% of all misselling-related complaints).