Russians Getting Under-the-Counter Wages Are Denied Loans

Russians Getting Under-the-Counter Wages Are Denied Loans


The Central Bank of the Russian Federation has drafted a bill that permits the lending institutions to use data of the Federal Tax Service. The relevant document has been submitted to the State Duma lower house of parliament for consideration.

Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of the State Duma Committee for the Financial Markets explained that this measure is aimed at the management of the borrowers’ financial risks. In addition, it will be easier for banks to collect full information about borrowers’ incomes and the amount of their payments.

"Holding information about the income of a borrower, confirmed by the Federal Tax Service, it will be easier for a lending institution to collect full information about the amount of loan repayments and total income," said Aksakov.

In addition, he suggested that in this case, people receiving "envelope wages" will be denied loans. Therefore, Russians will be more motivated to declare their incomes.

"The bill may be passed by the State Duma before the end of the spring session and will allow better risk management as regard the people applying for consumer loans through a more precise and faster calculation of their income," said Aksakov.

It is important to recall that last autumn the State Duma proposed a bill that would limit the debt burden on Russians in the amount of 50% of monthly family income. Experts believe that this may turn into problems for most people in Russia.

Many Russians receive part of their salaries off the books, and mostly, it is the larger half of their income. According to economists' estimates, up to 40% of economically active Russians in the country get illegal salaries.

If the bill is passed, loans will no longer be given even to people who can actually pay for them. This will lead to reduced consumption, and, as a result, the economy will start stagnating.

However, a number of experts saw advantages in this initiative. They say the restrictions will lead to a situation where people will be less likely to get into financial bondage, and banks will be able to reduce interest rates on loans.

According to a survey, conducted last autumn, 43% of Russians are ready to receive under-the-counter wages. At the same time, young people under 24 are more likely to reject illegal payments – today, there are 45% of such respondents, while in the age group over 45, there are 35% of radically opposed job seekers. There are more opponents of under-the-counter payment among people with salaries of 80,000 rubles which is equal to 45% of those polled. People with a salary from 50,000 to 79,900 rubles are ready to agree to a salary of this kind; their percentage stands at 44%.

In 2018, the total amount of cash-in-hand salary in Russia was13 trillion rubles, which is comparable to the expenditure part of the federal budget --16.8 trillion rubles. According to the estimates of the Federal Service of State Statistics, the share of hidden income with regard to GDP amounted to 12.6%.

Despite the fact that these figures seem significant, they are the most moderate since 2014, when illegal payments accounted for 13.4% of GDP. In subsequent years, the share has been steadily declining.

According to the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), about 25 million Russians are involved in the shadow economy, and almost 73% of Russians are ready to get “envelope wages” for their work or services.

At the same time, experts note a reassuring trend on the Russian labor market -- people are starting to come out of the shadow. Employers and ordering customers are turning towards formal supplementary employment.