Protests By Unhappy Mortgage Holders Rock Moscow Banks

Jan. 27 2016 — 19:12

Foreign-currency mortgage holders launched a series of protests against Moscow banks this week, demanding a discount on their mortgage payments that have increased dramatically in tandem with the weakening ruble.

On Tuesday a group of people rushed into a Raiffeisenbank office and demanded that they be allowed to pay back their mortgages at the rate of 40 rubles per dollar instead of the current 78 rubles per dollar rate, the Dozhd TV channel reported on Tuesday.

Management refused their demands, offering mortgage holders the option of postponing their payment deadline or giving their apartments to the bank as payment.

Another incident occurred on Wednesday in a Delta Credit bank branch. More than 200 mortgage holders flooded the premises, demanding that their mortgages be renegotiated, The Insider news website reported.

Many banks attracted clients to mortgages denominated in dollars or euros with attractive rates. Foreign-currency mortgage holders held several high-profile protests in Moscow last year, including outside the Central Bank and on Red Square.

President Vladimir Putin told members of Russia's Human Rights Council in October 2015 that foreign-currency mortgage holders made a decision to risk currency fluctuations when they took out their loans, but said that the state should step in to help avoid “extreme situations.”

Photos From Moscow Gallery Shuttered Over Child Porn Allegations
The Moscow exhibition of controversial American photographer Jock Sturges has been closed following protests from conservative activists.
Moscow TV Round-Up: Station for Two, Ivan Vasilievich Changes Professions and More
While this rainy September can’t end soon enough for those who like autumn strolls and leaf-peeping in the Big Onion’s parks, Moscow TV ...
Moscow TV Round-Up: Station for Two, Ivan Vasilievich Changes Professions and More
While this rainy September can’t end soon enough for those ...
Serebrennikov's ‘The Student’ Premieres to Critical Acclaim
Kirill Serebrennikov was the first to stage Marius von Mayenburg’s darkly brilliant play “Martyr” outside of Germany. The ...