Higher interest rates and new foreign loan may stop Belarusians from withdrawing deposits from banks
According to the National Bank, in January 2016, the population withdrew USD 128.1 million from the banks, leaving USD 8.1 billion, and BYR 2.7 trillion, leaving BYR 37.5 trillion in the banks. Deposits outflow from the banks was due to the new interest rate policy of the National Bank and the weakening of the national currency. People have spent their rouble cash on foreign currency. The Belarusian rouble is likely to continue to depreciate, while the net demand for foreign currency from the population is likely to persist. The banking system liquidity is likely to deteriorate and banks may issue new bonds with yield higher than interest rates on deposits. In addition, banks may restrict access to foreign currency deposits of the population for three months. Current trends on the Belarusian currency and deposit market may be reversed, if the National Bank revises its interest rate policy and simultaneously receives a large foreign loan.
The Labour and the Tax Ministries are considering the possibility to include persons engaged in some economic activity without forming a legal entity in the social security system. When the decree No 337 comes into effect, the number of private entrepreneurs is likely to reduce due to the possibility of reducing the tax burden when switching to a tax payment as an individual. 95% of self-employed, including PE, pay insurance premiums on the basis of the minimum wage. The number of self-employed citizens is expected to increase, the number of insurance contributions to the pension system from PE will decrease, the number of citizens who will pay a fee to finance government spending will decrease by several tens. Self-employed citizens have the alternative not to pay social security fees and save resources for future pensions, which, given the gradual restriction by the state of pension requirements could be a more long-sighted option.