Putin signs legislation expanding foreign access to bank accounts in Russia

President Vladimir Putin signed a law simplifying the procedure for opening accounts with Russian banks by foreign citizens and companies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Alexander Kazakov / RIA Novosti

Among other things, the new legislation waives the need for personal presence of the client or their representative for opening an account. This means foreign residents can now open bank accounts in Russia remotely from anywhere in the world. At the same time, over RUR 50K transactions with money or other assets performed on behalf of foreign nationals will be subject to mandatory control. For a foreign legal entity, this threshold is RUR 500K.

At the same time, the Central Bank will be authorized to prohibit specific Russian banks from delegating KYC procedures to foreign financial institutions. In addition, if agreed with the Federal Security Service (FSB) and Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring), the regulator will be able to restrict transactions performed by Russian banks or other financial institutions for foreign clients whose identification has been entrusted to foreign financial institutions. Information about such restrictions will be posted on the official Central Bank website.

Russian banks will be allowed to delegate potential client identification only to foreign financial institutions registered in states (territories) included in a list that is going to be approved by the Russian Government upon agreement with the FSB, Rosfinmonitoring and the Central Bank.

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