Sberbank Tightens Its Lending Rules

Sberbank said Saturday that it was tightening retail lending rules, scrapping some collateral-free instruments and raising deposit requirements for young families seeking mortgages.

Russian media reported last month that Sberbank was no longer targeting lending growth and will concentrate instead on the quality of its loans.

Sberbank accounts for around one-third of the retail lending market and holds money for half the population.

Sberbank said it was canceling collateral-free loans for urgent needs and to pensioners. It also raised the minimum deposit for young family mortgages to 20 percent from 10 percent.

Car buyers can now borrow no more than 80 percent of the vehicle's cost, from up to 100 percent previously.

Loans with securities or precious metals as collateral have also been scrapped. In all cases, the changed rules apply to new loans, and agreements on credits already given remain unaltered.