Over the past seven years, the share of Russians who have savings in foreign currency has been systematically decreasing, so that by the end of 2020 it decreased threefold to 6 per cent (compared to 19 per cent in 2014), according to the experts from the NAFI Analytical Centre.
Specialists have found out that respondents living in Moscow and St. Petersburg more often have savings in foreign currency than the population on average in the country (9 per cent versus 6 per cent). Rural residents, on the contrary, are less likely to buy foreign currency (4 per cent).
Wealthy people are also more inclined to diversify their currency basket, so they more often have savings in foreign currency and more often consider the dollar and euro to be more profitable currencies for forming savings.
“The decline in foreign currency savings can be attributed to several factors. First, the financial situation of many Russians has worsened during the pandemic, and incomes have decreased. The process, in this case, is cyclical – the gradual restoration of prosperity will contribute to the fact that Russians will again think about diversifying the currency basket,” the NAFI Director General, Guzelia Imaeva, said.
Another factor, according to the expert, could be that someone was building up foreign currency savings in anticipation of overseas travel, which has become virtually inaccessible under the constraints associated with the pandemic. Also, the specialist considers the volatility of the exchange rate to be a factor of a strong influence on the decision of Russians whether to make savings in a foreign currency, as buying it now, at a high price, is quite unreasonable.