According to financial analysts, the increase in interest rates is going to impact the entire loan curve in an accelerated manner, going from credit cards to mortgage loans, due to a matter of adjustment of the intermediation margin and a contractionary monetary policy , as a result of high inflation.
For July, the Financial Superintendence of Colombia (CFS) reported that the usury rate is 31.92%, the highest level in the last four years, returning to the figures recorded in 2018, before the pandemic. The indicator advanced 132 basic points when compared to the June rate and will be valid until the 31st of this month.
Usury is the maximum interest that a financial entity may charge its clients for consumer and ordinary credit. In the case of the card segment, the banks that have the lowest interest rates (annual effective) EA, that is, those furthest from the indicator are: GNB Sudameris, Banco Caja Social, Finandina, Serfinanza and Davivienda, with 27, 87%, 29.84%, 30.46%, 31.42% and 31.68%, respectively.
For their part, Scotiabank Colpatria (31.91%), Bbva (31.90%) and Itaú (30.89%) have the interest levels closest to usury defined this month.
“With the global financial climate we must be very cautious with indebtedness. Cardholders who, on average, have two and up to three active credit cards in their pocket, should try to pay their consumption within 30 days and avoid increasing their indebtedness”, said Wilson Triana, banking and insurance consultant.
In the same way, being a massive and easy-to-use means of payment at the time of need, many people continue to turn to credit cards, so experts recommend caution, because according to what they indicate, the most affected will be merchants. of small and medium-sized companies, and those Colombians of the middle class who contemplate traveling soon or making their purchases at more than one installment.
“As the consumers continue to show resilience and the financial impact of the pandemic subsides, we see risk improving and a higher percentage of buyers migrating to better risk levels. However, users continue to show concern, both for their personal financial situation, and for the increase in inflation and interest rates”, said Virginia Olivella, Director of Research at TransUnion.
In 2021, due to the impact of the pandemic and in order to help citizens with the payment of their financial obligations, this rate fell to a maximum in ten years, ranging from 25.98% at the beginning of the year and ending at 26, 19%.
However, the upward trend of usury will continue according to the financial analyst, Diego Fernando Palencia, because “in less than six months we have witnessed the change from a widely expansive policy to a contracting policy. Inflation is above the 4% limit and will not go down in the short term, therefore, current interest, which is the source for calculating the usury rate, will continue to rise in the coming months at a successive rate of raises,” he said.