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For the First Time in Eight Years Russia will Change the Grounds for Blocking Bank Accounts
February 19, 2020 17:16


For the first time in eight years, the Central Bank will change the criteria for suspicious transactions that could lead to account blocking.

The regulator suggests paying attention to the client’s refusal from a one-time operation or his request to close the account and issue money after questions asked by the bank.

The Central Bank is going to amend the criteria for dubious transactions, because of which banks can block customer accounts, RBC writes. According to the representative of the Central Bank, the list of criteria for unusual operations has not been updated since 2012. Over the course of the year, the regulator, together with Rosfinmonitoring, developed new signs to “eliminate obsolete and add new schemes for unusual transactions taking into account the current development of the financial market and the general digitalization of banking services,” the representative of the Central Bank said.

In particular, the Central Bank proposes to revise the general approaches to determining the doubtfulness of banking operations. According to the regulator, a situation where a client performs an operation, despite high commissions or barrage rates, should not be considered suspicious. In addition, the Central Bank decided to abandon the clause on “non-standard and complex” settlements. That is, operations cannot be considered doubtful, if they differ from the usual practice of the client, as it follows from the proposed amendments. But if the transaction "does not comply with generally accepted market practice," this may lead to special control.

The criterion that the Central Bank proposes to include in the list is related to the refusal of a one-time operation or the request of the client to close the account and give out money after questions were asked by the bank. In addition, the regulator wants to allow banks to refuse to carry out transactions under an executive document if they suspect that the purpose of the transaction is money laundering or cashing out.

The Central Bank also proposed adding regular cash withdrawal operations to individuals in the list if the money comes from legal entities or individual entrepreneurs. The doubtful ones include remote operations that are performed from one device or from one group of IP addresses on accounts of different companies registered in different countries or belonging to different owners. Among other things, the regulator allows accounts to be blocked due to transactions related to the acquisition or sale of virtual assets.

According to the Deputy Director General for Legal Issues of Amuleks Law Firm, Yulia Galueva, the new list is more relevant and detailed than the list of eight years ago. Vladimir Efremov, partner of the law firm, agrees with the fact that the project has many additions. “Many signs have already been used by banks in the framework of local rules of internal control, therefore, there should not be significant changes in the practice of their application. But, on the other hand, it will now be easier for business to understand which operations are classified as high risk,” the expert emphasized.


Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Russian banks Central Bank Russian economy Russian business  

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