GENERICO.ruEconomicsThe mystery of ruble deposits has been revealed: how profitable they are and for how long to open them

The mystery of ruble deposits has been revealed: how profitable they are and for how long to open them

Experts named the risks of bank deposits

Russians actively deposited money into banks, February financial statistics show. There are no tricks or surprises here: people are simply actively opening ruble deposits. Well, they are encouraged to do this by bank rates, which have remained stably at a high level for a long time. After the Central Bank kept the key rate at 16% in mid-February, citizens, not without reason, hope that high interest rates on bank deposits will not go away for a long time. And they allow you to confidently protect savings from inflation, the official level of which does not exceed 8%. Is this the right financial strategy for the public? For what period and for what amounts is it most profitable to open ruble deposits? What risks should their owners consider? “MK” addressed all these questions to the experts: BitRiver financial analyst Vladislav Antonov; Analyst of the Capital Skills Financial Academy Mark Goikhman; financial expert, author of the economic Telegram channel Alexey Krichevsky; to Freedom Finance Global leading analyst Natalya Milchakova.

Experts named the risks of bank deposits

Ruble deposits are currently profitable: their yield is slightly less than twice as high as official inflation. The average deposit rate for 6 months is now estimated at 14-14.5% per annum. This is, indeed, the most accessible tool for saving and increasing funds for most Russians.

Now is a very good time to open ruble deposits in reliable banks. Interest rates on deposits are very high, at least 10% per annum, which exceeds inflation. Today it is possible to place money on a deposit in a reliable bank from the top 20 largest banks at 16-17% per annum, that is, even higher than the key rate of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. At the same time, the risks of storing money in interest-bearing deposits are very low compared to the risks of investing in stocks, precious metals and bonds. Such cases of earning a guaranteed income that exceeds inflation with minimal risks in the financial market are extremely rare, and it is better not to miss such a chance.

The high key rate of the Central Bank also determines increased interest rates on bank deposits. Thus, in the first ten days of February, the maximum interest rate in the top 10 banks was 14.8%. This is almost twice as much as a year ago (7.9%). In this sense, deposits now combine the good qualities of reliability and profitability. In addition, this is the most familiar, widespread, simple way of placing savings for citizens.

This is definitely more profitable than keeping money under the mattress or in checking accounts. At the same time, we need to understand that we may no longer see the rates that banks are now offering, given normal economic development. So the 14-15% per annum that you can easily get now is a very decent story, which will be two or three times higher than the expected Rosstat inflation and will be somewhere close to consumer and food inflation.

Deposits are just one of the many ways people save. Traditionally, it competes in terms of profitability with other publicly available instruments. Deposits now, for example, in terms of yield approximately correspond to annual government bonds and are even higher than their longer issues – from 2 to 20 years, yielding 12.5-13.3%. At the same time, for example, high-quality corporate bonds can bring 17-19%. However, they are not guaranteed by the state, unlike deposits and government bonds.

Not only banking products, but also the stock market are available to the general population. Nowadays, finding bonds with a yield of up to 20% per annum is not the most difficult task. But if we take clear tools for ultra-conservative investors, then deposits are definitely option No. 1.

Banks are not trying to maintain high interest rates for a long period, since the key rate is expected to decrease during 2024. Therefore, high profitability extends, as a rule, only to the next 3-6 months. If there is a goal to place savings for a given period, a deposit is a suitable option. But when placing with a distant horizon, the percentage will be lower. In this case, it makes sense to consider reliable bonds. With their help, you can “stake out” a high yield now, which will remain for the entire period of circulation of the bond, even with a future rate reduction. Moreover, in this case, the market price of the bond itself may rise.

In principle, if there are options for opening deposits at 13-14% for a year and without draconian conditions such as a salary client, subscription and other options that some banks declare, then you can open for a year. If such conditions are not found, then you can safely open at the same interest rate for six months. In principle, you can get a few percent in 3 months, but in the future there is a possibility that there may not be such offers, so it is better to play it safe and choose a more genuine product. If, of course, there is confidence that the money will not be needed urgently, then there will be a risk of losing all income.

In our opinion, short-term deposits, up to 6 months, are preferable. High interest rates on deposits, 16-17% per annum, in the largest banks most often apply to deposits for a period of no more than 6 months, and if the deposit is extended after this period, the interest rate will decrease. But it will decrease to quite profitable figures – for example, to 9-10% per annum

Deposits are a very democratic type of investment, since it is designed for a huge market of private investors with a wide variety of amounts. It is worth considering deposits even with a small amount of temporarily available funds. For example, from 10 thousand rubles. But, of course, the larger the amount, the higher the income received. In addition, with larger-scale investments, you can count on increased rates in many banks.

Opening deposits or savings accounts at a high interest rate makes sense if you have any amount for which you want to increase your income, at least from 10 thousand rubles. Banks most often open deposits at a high interest rate for amounts from 100 thousand rubles, but if you have a smaller amount, you can open not a deposit at the bank, but a savings account. The interest rate on a savings account can be as high as on a deposit, but you can withdraw money from the savings account and replenish the account without restrictions. Withdrawal and replenishment of deposits is not possible in every bank. And, as a rule, there is no minimum threshold for opening a savings account.

Almost any amount can be deposited. Typically, banks regulate the initial threshold, but you can also look for basic offers where the entry threshold is minimal.

The main thing is to choose a bank that is part of the compulsory deposit insurance system. In this case, within the limits of the total deposit amount guaranteed by insurance is 1.4 million rubles. It doesn’t really matter whether the bank is big or not.

To choose a bank, you should observe the situation and collect information. There are publicly available aggregators that create lists of the most interesting offers from banks. All deposits in Russia up to 1.4 million rubles are insured by the Deposit Insurance Agency. This means that if the bank has problems, your money will be returned to you in any case. DIA works like a clock.

The easiest way is to compare the profitability of the top 20 banks, compare the conditions and choose the appropriate one. As a rule, banks where the depositor is either a salary or loan client, try to offer more interesting conditions in order to maintain customer loyalty.

Here you need to proceed from individual conditions and preferences. As a rule, when a deposit is closed early, the bank charges virtually no interest. This is unprofitable for the investor, of course. And it makes sense to do this only if the income on the new deposit during its validity period exceeds the losses from lost interest on the closed deposit. In a word, you need to carefully calculate, focusing on the conditions of both deposits.

To make a decision about reforming the deposit, you need to assess whether the new profitability will significantly exceed what will be lost when closing the current deposit. It is important to see this in numbers. The decision should be made only after this.

This makes sense if, before interest rates increased, you kept money on deposit for many years at a very low interest rate for today, for example, 5-7% per annum. In this case, it is recommended to transfer this money to a more profitable deposit in another reliable bank, or in the same bank, unless the bank offers the most favorable interest rates either for new clients or only for salary clients, which you are not one of. It also makes sense after 6 months to study favorable offers in other banks, and if interest rates remain high, withdraw the deposit and put this amount, possibly with accumulated interest, in another bank at a higher interest rate.

Unlikely Does this make sense, because there is a risk of losing already accumulated income. In addition, if the old deposit has low rates, then it was opened, most likely, about three years ago, so there is virtually no reason to twitch here – it will end soon anyway.

The main risks are inflationary. In the event of a significant acceleration in price growth during the validity period of the deposit, the funds on it will depreciate. This is more relevant for long-term deposits. The risks of “freezing” funds in rubles are minimal.

The risks of investing in rubles are associated primarily with the fact that the ruble is an unstable currency; over the past ten years it has depreciated in value against the dollar by more than half. This year, however, the ruble looks relatively stable and inflation is not rising much, while interest rates remain high and more than double expected inflation. Therefore, this year the risks of ruble investments, if, of course, you keep them in a reliable bank, are significantly lower than they were before.

There are essentially two risks – devaluation of the ruble and revocation of the bank's license. To resolve the issue with the second, you just need to deposit no more than 1.4 million in one bank – then the entire amount is guaranteed to be insured by the state. But the first one is more difficult to deal with. Yes, the interest rate can neutralize the effect of the depreciation of the Russian currency, but the fall in the exchange rate can be steep and sharp, as during the past year. Therefore, such a risk should be kept in mind.

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