In the context of large-scale reformatting of the banking sector in Ukraine, many surviving banks declare responsiveness to credit requests. The experts admit that it is the right time to increase it. Last year the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) reported a steady decline in total loans however business needs to be pushed to develop rapidly.
According to the report of the regulator, in early 2016 there were 117 operating banks in Ukraine. On February 1, 2017, there were already 93 of them, 38 of which had a share of foreign capital and 17 of banks owned 100% of the foreign capital. Except of the state-owned banks, business loans are mainly issued by banks with foreign capital. There are only a few institutions with Ukrainian capital, which actively carry out all forms of lending. Least but not last is the troubled loan portfolio of the long-term credits, issued by banks for more than five years.
According to the NBU, at the end of 2016 the average rate of the amount of new business loans was around 20%. On the other hand, as the analysts say, if you have a good credit score range, the percentage of credit granting decision is around 50-75%.
The segment of small and medium-sized business is considered to be the most attractive for lending. An explanation for this is the significant percentage of these types of business in the general segment (more than 90% of all companies have signs of small and medium-sized businesses by the definition of legislation), as well as a great need of additional credit resources and high growth potential. But despite the potential attractiveness, banks are still issuing loans at relatively high rates as they are afraid of risks. Bankers admit that lending to medium and small-sized businesses is now associated with significant risks. Therefore, the credits are given very reluctantly, while state monopolies and large agrarian companies receive their credits much easier.
This situation is explained by the huge number of the trouble loans. Therefore, the requirements of banks to the recipients of loans become more stringent. Credit institutions want to deal with reliable counterparties, so they want to be sure that the loans will be paid. Today`s economic conditions show that the banks cannot and do not want to increase the amount bad debts, which may happen in connection with small and medium-sized businesses. Therefore, when it comes to restoring and increasing the rates of lending to entrepreneurs, it mainly concern large businesses. It is the large-sized business that can expect to receive loans on good credit terms. When small and medium-sized businesses are offered 20% of mortgage rates, large businesses may amount even 15%.
The most promising are the partnerships with representatives of agrarian business. The banks are ready to make concessions and even facilitate the general terms of lending for them. Good terms of lending also relates to the representatives of wholesale and retail trade
The new progressive trend of 2017 is a so-called eco-lending, or lending of projects, aimed to improve the energy efficiency and environment- friendliness. It attracts many commercial banks as Ukraine is one of the most expensive countries in terms of energy expenditure. It has one of the highest indicators of the green tariffs in Europe. However, the percentage of such investment loans is still small, compared to the loans for replenishment of working capital.
According to the requirements of the NBU, banks can only provide loans to the companies that can provide sufficient profitability, have no problems with taxes and debts and can prove their impeccable business reputation. These requirements are fairly justified for a European country but there are not so many companies in Ukraine which can fulfill them. And the main reason for it is the huge percentage of business in Ukraine which is in the shadow. Therefore, the government’s first task is to stimulate the exit of business from such a difficult situation. Only after that we can expect transparency and impeccability from business, and the desire and intentions to expand credit offers from the credit institutions.
PER ASPERA AD ASTRA
Despite the fact that the measures on banking sector reform, taken in the recent years by the regulator, were among the most unpopular and even provoked a public indignation, a number of experts still believe that such kind of banking reform is one of the most effective for the domestic economy. The purpose of these stringent actions of the NBU was to clear the banking system from inefficient participants in order to provide it with the best performance of its classical functions. The most important of it is business lending, which can give a significant impulse to the economic development of the whole country. If the banks can effectively perform their functions, and national companies are able to grow into successful corporations, participating in IPOs on the world market, everyone will win: the state and a final consumer.
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