Cross-border money transfers: Samara piled with foreign money, while Tatarstan goes on sending money

Russians got $2 billion as salary from abroad and transfer their money to other countries

Realnoe Vremya's analytic staff draws conclusions for 2018 in the market of cross-border money transfers. It seems that the country's population is waking up from the 2015 winter sleep, and financial links with other countries are becoming more attractive for it: volumes of transfers grow both from abroad and to the country. Tatarstan is an undoubted leader in Volga Federal Okrug in money transfers abroad, while Samara Oblast, on the contrary, receives a lot from other countries.

Money mainly goes not to CIS countries

According to Realnoe Vremya's analytic staff, both money transfers from Russia to abroad and transfers from abroad increased over the year. Both indicators increased in 2018 almost in the same way – by 9 and 8 per cent. Natural persons sent $47,8 billion from Russia in 2018. A year earlier, the indicator was $43,8 billion, it was lower by a third in 2016 – just $35,9 billion.

It's mainly not labour migrants who help their families in near-abroad countries but transfers to far-abroad countries. Money was sent to these countries 2,5 times more than to CIS countries ($34,6bn against $13,3). Moreover, the disproportion in 2018 grew: the volume of transfers to far-abroad countries increased by 12%, while transfers to CIS countries did just by 3%. Transfers to natural persons to Russia is more than two times less than transfers from Russia, their total sum was $22,5bn. The indicator grew by 8% over the year and by 22% over two years. $18,9bn were transferred from far-abroad countries and just $3,6bn from CIS countries.

And the average transfer sum considerably reduced at the same time. $191-177 on average were sent from Russia to far-abroad countries and a bit more – $241 – to CIS countries in 2018. It's interesting that the indicator decreased by 13% in general. However, this is explained mainly by a considerable fall in transfers to near-abroad countries – by 20%.

The size of an average transfer to Russia is $408, this indicator reduced by 20%. $468 (24% less) were sent from far-abroad countries, just $245 (10% less) were sent from CIS countries.

Russians bank money in foreign banks and receive $2bn as salary

Transfers of one's own money, that's to say, transfers to one's own account or a relative's account in another country is an absolute leader in residents' transfers from Russia. Such transfers totalled about a half – at $18,3bn out of $37,1bn. ''Non-repayable transfers'', that's to say, grants, donation, compensation, scholarship, pension, maintenance, legacy, gifts – are second in purposes of money transfers from Russia. Such transfers amount to $4,4bn. The line ''other'' had another $3,7bn, $3,1bn are e-money transfers.

The main purpose of transfers to Russia are in the line ''other''. Their sum made up $5,4 out of $19,7bn in 2018. The line ''transfer of my own money'' has almost the same sum – $5,2bn. ''Non-repayable transfers and receipts'' at $2,24bn and ''salary'' at $2,06bn also refer to important categories.

Switzerland as key Russian bank and lots of money exchange with Latvia

Switzerland is the main far-abroad country where money is transferred to Russian natural persons. In 2018, 4,97bn were sent here – by 36% more than a year earlier. The average transfer sum also increased – it totalled $40,600 – by 40% more than a year earlier. A bigger sum of money was sent only to Monaco, it is $74,800 on average. However, the total sum isn't big – just $177 million. Apart from Switzerland, the USA – $2,11bn, Latvia – $1,76 (which, moreover, has the most modest average bill – just $64) are leaders in transfer sums. Germany and Cyprus are also among the leaders. Kazakhstan became the main country from which Russian natural persons received money among CIS countries – the total sum here was $1,5bn. Armenia with $470m, Kyrgyzstan with 416m and Uzbekistan with 397m also hold the lead.

The biggest amount of money is sent from Russia to the same Switzerland – $9,16bn in total. Big money flows also go to the USA ($2,7bn), Great Britain (2,51bn) and Latvia (2,23bn). However, transfers are big only to one of these countries – Switzerland, a transfer is equal to $9,000 on average. For instance, only $16 on average are sent to Latvia. Monaco became the leader in transfer sum – $288,400. Austria also has a big indicator – a transfer is equal to $27,400 on average.

As for CIS countries, the biggest amount of money from Russia is sent to Uzbekistan – $4,08bn with an average bill of $366. $2,4bn were sent to Kyrgyzstan, $271 per transfer on average, $2,55bn went to Tajikistan, $128 per transfer on average.

Bashkortostan started sending money, while Samara Oblast is 'hooked on' foreign money

Tatarstan keeps being the leading region in Volga Federal Okrug in money transfers abroad. In 2018, $296m were sent from Tatarstan abroad, which is by 9% more than one year ago and by 82% more than two years ago. Samara Oblast with $236m and Nizhny Novgorod Oblast with 199m are also among leaders in money transfers abroad. Bashkortostan has the fourth result, but the sum here is much lower – just $101m. Orenburg Oblast became a leader in year-on-year growth of money transfers, the indicator grew by 60% at once here, from $32 to 51m. Above-mentioned Bashkortostan should be pointed out among the leaders, the indicator increased by 30% here over the year.

The biggest amount of money from abroad is received in Samara Oblast – $222. The region was a leader in this indicator one year ago, too, but the numbers grew by 59% during the year (it's a record among Volga regions). Nizhny Novgorod Oblast with $121m was second, Tatarstan is third with $61,4m (28% growth a year).

By Maksim Matveyev, Realnoe Vremya’s analytic staff

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