MOSCOW, April 24 (RAPSI) – The office of Russia’s Business Ombudsman Boris Titov has completed its second controlled drawing of preferential credits aimed to finance wages and salaries reporting persisting problems but more optimistic results as compared with its first such operation.

According to Titov, who presented the respective figures, in the framework of the first controlled borrowing inspection (April 15) there were submitted 158 applications for loans across 29 regions of Russia. In the course of the second operation (April 17 through 21) 142 applications were submitted across 37 regions. Applications were addressed Sberbank, MSP Bank, VTB, Promsvyazbank, Alfa-bank, Sovkombank, Otkritie, Rosselkhozbank. Instead of Raffeisenbank and Svyazbank the second controlled borrowing involved Gazprombank, bank Uralsib and RNKB.

First attempt resulted in declining of 84% of applications; the second operation brought approval of 25% of applications, whereas 30% were rejected and 45% of applications were put on hold for closer analysis.

It is apparent that positive changes in the relevant operations of the banks have been registered, the Business Ombudsman observed. There was registered a lower rate of refusals without explanations or those caused by the lack of necessary mechanisms; banks accepted more applications for closer study. Nevertheless, the number of refusals is still above the number of approvals; it is worth noting that refusals are still given on formal grounds or without explanations even in case potential borrowers met the requirements, Titov said.

Banks planning to participate in the program are to be given guarantees from state corporation VEB.RF amounting to 75% of their loans; although it is a good stimulus, banks are still slow as they are cautious to risk remaining 25%, and the state needs to assume the whole risk to make the program work at full throttle, according to the Business Ombudsman.