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SocGen's Russian unit to exit point of sale lending amid slowing growth

Société Générale SA's Russian unit, PJSC ROSBANK, decided to exit the point of sale, or POS, lending segment to focus on business areas with greater growth potential.

The lender said in its Oct. 15 filing that the segment has been growing slowly during the last few years and has limited prospects for further development due to increasing penetration of digital banking services among clients and changes in customers' behavior.

LLC Rusfinance Bank, through which Rosbank Group offers POS lending services, will maintain its partnership with local retail chains until the end of 2019, after which it will terminate this type of service and focus on car loans, a segment in which it already holds a strong position.

Rosbank will continue to operate in other retail banking segments in Russia and will also develop its transactional business, focusing on the digitalization of services.

Similar decisions to exit the POS lending segment were taken by PAO Sberbank of Russia in 2017 and JSC Alfa-Bank in 2018, Kommersant said Oct. 17.

However, Russia's top POS lending market players — OOO Home Credit and Finance Bank, PJSC Post Bank, Commercial bank Renaissance Credit (LLC), PJSC MTS Bank and OTP Bank Nyrt. unit JSC OTP Bank — believe POS lending still has potential and they have no plans to exit the segment, the newspaper noted.