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Banking Law in Russia

Banking Law in Russia

Updated on Wednesday 29th June 2016

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Banking-Law-in-RussiaThe Central Bank is the main financial institution in Russia. However, the country has also allowed a great number of foreign banks to operate here through branches and even representative offices. Russia is also home to non-financial institutions which are licenses to offer loans. Even if both types of institutions are subject to the same legislation on banking activities, the main difference between them resides in the number of services they can provide.

Our lawyers in Russia can offer more information on the banking system in this country.

The main laws governing banking in Russia

The first Banking Law in Russia was issued in 1990. This is the Federal Law No. 395-1 “On Banks and Banking”. The law was altered several times, with the last modification registered at the end of 2013. Other important laws on banking activities in Russia are:

  • -          Federal Law No. 86-3 of 2002 on the Central Bank of Russia;
  • -          Federal Law No. 40-3 of 1999 on the insolvency of financial lending institutions.

As mentioned above, the Banking Law was amended in 2013 in order to adhere to international standards and to provide easy access to the market to foreign banks. One of the most important amendments brought to the law refer to banking groups and bank holding companies, which are now allowed to be formed by others than credit institutions alone with only one of the companies required to be credit institution.

Licensing of banks in Russia

Foreign investors setting up banks in Russia are required to fulfill certain requirements in order to obtain one of the following banking licenses:

  • -          a license to undertake activities with rubles as a currency;
  • -          a license to undertake activities with both rubles and other foreign currencies;
  • -          a license to keep and trade precious metals.

Russian banks are allowed to conduct the following activities under the license above:

  • -          keeping funds in accounts opened by individuals and companies;
  • -          investing the funds deposited in other financial instruments;
  • -          issuing invoices from the accounts;
  • -          opening bank accounts for both individuals and companies;
  • -          selling and buying local and foreign currencies;
  • -          releasing guarantees;
  • -          transferring funds from one account to another;
  • -          managing funds;
  • -          offering consultancy services;
  • -          offering loans.

For complete information on the Banking Law, do not hesitate to contact out law firm in Russia.


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