“Friendly” countries refuse to open accounts with Russian banks

Russian banks are having trouble trying to open accounts in ‘friendly’ countries to trade outside the dollar, euro and other world currencies.

Consent to open correspondent accounts to conduct transactions in national currencies “does not always work out,” said Alexei Guznov, deputy governor of the Bank of Russia, speaking at a legal forum in Moscow.

“We have to be honest about this,” he insisted. According to Guznov, the mechanism of mutual opening of correspondence accounts should be included in package agreements with “friendly” countries.

This approach is discussed during negotiations, but sometimes unsuccessfully, the official admitted (quoted Reuters).

To break the “financial blockade” imposed by Western countries, the Central Bank allowed small banks with a “basic” license to open correspondent accounts abroad for currency transactions. Before the war, only large credit institutions with a “universal” license had such a right, which required a share capital of at least 1 billion rubles.

And although the easing has been in force for 8 months, only 20 banks out of more than 100 “basic” license holders have managed to establish correspondence relations with foreign “colleagues”.

“Not all ambitions were realized,” admitted Guznov. “But there has been some expansion of correspondent relationships, and that’s good news that allows you to look for channels.”

Earlier, representatives of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation said that foreign banks simply did not respond to their Russian counterparts to partnership proposals, and Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of the Duma’s Financial Market Committee, said that only three credit institutions managed to open correspondent accounts.

According to Guznov, there are almost 7 times more such banks. But the new mechanism did not become a full-fledged solution to the problem.

An alternative would be the ability to make cross-border settlements in cryptocurrency or with digital financial assets (DFAs), although this would require legislative changes, the official said.

The State Duma Committee on the Financial Market will discuss them on May 16, after which it will be possible to start an experiment with making such payments.


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