GENERICO.ruEconomicsFrom May 1, banking services will change: transfers to yourself will become free

From May 1, banking services will change: transfers to yourself will become free

How will credit institutions and their clients perceive the abolition of “bank slavery”

From May 1, banks will be prohibited from charging commissions for money transfers of up to 30 million rubles between accounts of the same client. The purpose of this measure is to remove barriers to choosing deposits with the best conditions and to facilitate the transfer of salaries to those banks that are more convenient for consumers. The law was adopted by the State Duma at the end of July 2023, and its initiator was the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. Experts told MK about how citizens' money transfers will change from May 1.

How the abolition of “bank slavery” will be perceived by credit institutions and their clients Photo: freepik.com

According to current legislation, the limit on free transfers between the accounts of one client is limited to 100 thousand rubles and is valid only in the Fast Payment System (FPS). However, from May 1, the amount of transfers that a client can make to himself without commission will be increased by 300 times. The new conditions will apply to transfers using SBP by phone number, as well as by account number, but will not affect transfers by card number.

The Bank of Russia first raised the question of the need to abolish commissions for transfers “to oneself” back in December 2021. As Elvira Nabiullina, Chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, noted then, each client can withdraw money in cash and transfer it to his account in another bank, but in the modern world this is not enough. “We have long lived in a predominance of non-cash forms, and such fees can often be a barrier to people freely managing their money and choosing those banks where deposit rates are more attractive for them,” she said at the time of the speech there was also talk about canceling transfers within the limit of up to 1.4 million rubles.

But in the end the bar was raised to 30 million rubles. The head of the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market, Anatoly Aksakov, later explained this decision of legislators by saying that people periodically make transactions for the sale of apartments, land plots, expensive cars and other property and want to immediately transfer money from one bank to another and, for example, make a deposit. “Naturally, the commission’s question arises, so they decided that it was necessary to provide the most convenient conditions for citizens, and agreed on a limit of 30 million rubles,” the deputy explained.

According to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the limit on free transfers can be used, for example, to transfer your savings or salary from one bank to another in order to open a deposit on attractive terms, or to credit it to a current account in a bank through which you plan to make a major transaction.

“The transfer of funds between individuals’ own accounts in different banks is a common phenomenon,” says Associate Professor of the Department of Global Financial Markets and Fintech at the Russian Economic University. Plekhanova Tatyana Belyanchikova. — It often happens that your employer’s salary project is in one bank, the deposit is in another, and a credit card with a bunch of cashback bonuses is in a third. It is not for nothing that last year, when making the decision to ban charging commissions for transfers between one’s own accounts, people started talking about the abolition of “bank slavery.” For citizens, such a measure will allow them to more freely choose deposits with better conditions when the previous ones expire.”

The abolition of commissions for transfers to oneself has long been awaited by the population, since the very fact of its introduction was quite absurd and actually gently forced Russians into forced cooperation with only one bank. “The advantages of increasing the limits are that clients will be able to change banks faster and more freely if their work for various reasons does not suit them, that is, working with banks becomes more convenient,” continues the conversation, the director of customer relations at Alfa Capital Management Company » Anna Gondusova. “Over a long period of time, this can even improve the quality of the bank’s services, since the client will be able to leave it more easily, then the bank needs to work better to keep the client with him.”

According to the National Agency for Financial Research (NAFI), 91% of Russians have experience transferring money between their cards or accounts. Most often (in 83% of cases) citizens transfer money from account to account within the same bank. But a fairly significant portion of compatriots (70%) have experience transferring money between different banks. Transfers from one bank to another are mainly due to three reasons. Firstly, the need to transfer money to another card for everyday spending (49% of Russians do this). Secondly, by repaying the loan (28%) when it was taken out from another bank. Thirdly, by replenishing the deposit (in 25% of cases). NAFI's research shows how important this service is for compatriots. According to investment adviser Yulia Kuznetsova, the abolition of the commission in this regard is a positive measure, first of all, for citizens, and there really is a certain problem when transferring funds. Nobody wants to pay “extra” interest to the bank.

However, due to the fact that banks will lose a certain part of their income as a result, a number of experts have concerns that credit institutions will want to compensate for these losses by “inflating” payments for other services. “The initiative could lead to a reduction in banks’ profits, since the share of profits from money transfer operations is quite significant,” says Kuznetsova.

However, there is another point of view. According to Freedom Finance Global leading analyst Natalya Milchakova, banks’ losses from the abolition of commissions for money transfers to oneself to another bank will be small. Commissions for transfers through SBP are still zero if the amount of an individual’s transfers to all accounts in other banks, including their own, does not exceed 100 thousand rubles per month. A significant part of bank clients usually fell within this limit, so banks did not earn too much from an amount exceeding the threshold of 100 thousand rubles per month. And the abolition of commissions for transfers to oneself is only part of the amount of transfers that individuals make per month. That is, the banks’ receipt of this income initially depended on unpredictable factors, and losing this very volatile part of the commission income would not be critical for them. According to expert calculations, the largest banks earn about 7-9% of total net commission income and about 1-2% of total operating income from money transfers. “But these are commissions for money transfers in general, and the share of commissions for transfers through SBP from an amount exceeding 100 thousand rubles per month is not disclosed by any bank. But we believe that it is very small,” Milchakova emphasized.

According to Belyanchikova, banks, of course, will not be happy about the abolition of an additional source of income, but they are unlikely to suffer serious losses from this. The latter is evidenced by the fact that a number of large credit institutions canceled such commissions in advance and used this initiative for advertising purposes to increase the confidence of their clients. Therefore, transferring these commissions to other services is not the most pressing risk, the expert is sure.

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