President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Kostin, VTB is one of our leading banks. In the current complicated situation, the Government is providing significant support to the entire financial system, including your bank.
I would like you to tell me how you closed last year and what are your plans for this year, considering your agreement with the Government and the Central Bank that all the funds that will be made available to VTB will be directed into the real economy.
VTB Bank Chairman and CEO Andrei Kostin: Thank you for the support, Mr President. It allows our bank to function smoothly. We now have a significant safety margin in terms of both capital and liquidity.
We are now summing up our last year’s results. In terms of loan portfolio growth rates, in real terms (net of exchange rate fluctuations) it amounted to 16.5 percent, which brought the loan portfolio to 9 trillion rubles.
We are funding all the main state programmes. We are lending both to the real economy and to the public, with special focus on the real economy, specifically the state defence order.
There are many questions regarding the interest rates. I can tell you that the interest rate on loans for the state defence order is 9.3 percent, and we do not intend to raise it, despite the fact that, as you may know, the refinancing rate has gone up.
Mortgages are also very important and our mortgage loan portfolio stands now at 712 billion rubles. This year we plan to extend 300 billion rubles in mortgage loans. We have joined the programme that the Government has just approved regarding special rates for mortgage loans. Actually, the mortgage interest rate in our current portfolio is 12.2 percent and we do not intend to revise it for the existing loans.
Vladimir Putin: Is that for insider loans?
Andrey Kostin: No, that is the average figure, an absolutely honest one. However, for new mortgage loans – and about 95 billion out of 300 will be made available under the Government programme – the approved rate is 13 percent.
Then there is the military mortgage programme. We have lent over 50 billion, with another 20 to be provided this year. Therefore, I can say that the bank will continue operating in all the areas in practically the same mode.
There are, of course, things that affect the bank’s financial efficiency, primarily its profit rate. However, we are capable of meeting our targets in terms of funding the economy. I believe the funds available to the bank at present are sufficient to carry out normal lending operations.
Vladimir Putin: That’s good.