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Tinkoff research: Russia’s credit card market hits RUB 1.78 tn in 1H 2021

Publish date: 14 September 2021
Tinkoff presents the findings of its research on the Russian credit card market in 2Q 2021. 
The research is based on data from the Bank of Russia and includes only non-overdue debt (demand loans and overdrafts to individuals).

Market size and performance

In 2Q 2021, Russia’s credit card market continued to set records and reached RUB 1.78 tn as of 1 July 2021. Year-to-date, the credit card portfolio has increased by 9.9%, or RUB 161 bn in absolute terms, an increase greater than that recorded for full year 2020, when the size of the market remained virtually unchanged due to the pandemic.

In 2Q 2021, the market grew by RUB 92 bn, a third more than it did in 1Q 2021. In April, it rose by RUB 14 bn and in June — by RUB 32.1 bn. May saw the highest monthly growth of RUB 45.5 bn, which was also the largest monthly change registered year-to-date.

Relative quarterly growth reached 5.4% versus 4.3% in 1Q 2021 and a decline of 2.6% in 2Q 2020.

Market concentration

Sberbank’s market share continued to decline amid increasing market concentration. In 2Q, its share fell by 1.3 pp to 41.1%. As in previous quarters, this was due to the accelerated growth of its competitors. The combined portfolio of Tinkoff, Alfa-Bank and Sovcombank grew by RUB 53.3 bn in 2Q, with their share increasing from 31.7% to 33.1%. Sovcombank delivered the strongest growth, raising its share from 5.8% to 6.8%.

A total of 30 credit institutions hold a credit card portfolio greater than RUB 1 bn, and these institutions collectively hold a 99.7% market share.

Key players

In 2Q 2021, the five largest banks in the credit card market accounted for 81% of its quarterly growth. The leaders in terms of absolute growth were Sovcombank (up RUB 23 bn), Tinkoff (up RUB 18.7 bn) and Sberbank (up RUB 14.9 bn).

In terms of portfolio size, Sovcombank surpassed VTB to take fourth place. VTB’s share remained unchanged at 6.1%, while its portfolio grew by RUB 6.2 bn.

MTS Bank grew its portfolio by RUB 5.7 bn, which resulted in its market share increasing to 1.6%.

Orient Express Bank was the only one of the ten largest banks whose portfolio remained unchanged, with the bank’s current market share standing at 3.2%.


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