Unusual Protest by Mortgage Activists in Moscow
- New Europe Investor
- November 17, 2015
Russians who have taken mortgages out in foreign currencies have taken the unusual step of sending coffins down the Moscow River in protest.
With the value of the ruble significantly lower in recent years, mortgage holders who have taken out loans denominated in euros or dollars have seen their repayments increase.
Russian banks have been unwilling to negotiate with the stricken mortgage holders, and the stunt has been seen as a way to bring the issue to the media’s attention.
The launch of the coffins took place in Karamyshevskaya Naberezhnaya, in the west of the city.
Russia’s Central Bank stopped their attempts to prop up the Russian currency in November 2014, due to rapidly depleting foreign reserves. Since floating freely, the value of the ruble towards the dollar has almost halved.
Written on the coffins, was the names of the banks who actively targeted customers to take out foreign denominated mortgages, including; VTB, Absolut Bank and the Bank of Moscow. These banks have now ignored customers calls for help.
Last month, President Vladimir Putin made his position clear on the issue, by stating that such mortgage holders took a currency risk decision when taking out the mortgages.