Collective financial portrait
Belarusian National Academy of Sciences’ Sociology Institute poll — conducted by order of the National Bank — indicates trends in our financial behaviour
Belarusians were once viewed as cautious, judicious and provident but the latest statistics may show a change in attitude. Around 10 percent of Belarusians still don’t use banking services (against 14.2 percent in 2012) and over 85 percent of Belarusians now run their own account and/or use a debit regularly. Around 30 percent use Internet banking services, and most have their salary transferred to their current account, for use with their debit card.
As regards savings and investments, just 21.5 percent of Belarusians and fewer than 30 percent of all families invest in this way. The tendency remains unchanged for the past three years. Meanwhile, 25 percent of Belarusians and almost 40 percent of families have bank loans (the figure has dropped by 11.6 percent over the past three years). Evidently, high interest rates are hampering potential borrowers, although most consumer consumption is paid for with a loan.
Half of all respondents (of 2,500 people questioned countrywide) have insurance for their car, property and/or life. Insurance policies are often built into banking loans, generating their popularity. In turn, medical and travel insurance are popular among just 10 percent of respondents, who are regular travellers.
Belarus is a country with a relatively low distribution of financial services, with most citizens making use only of basic obligatory services.
By Anna Savelieva