Banks can oblige to inform financial intelligence about requests from “unfriendly” countries

The Russian Ministry of Finance has developed a bill obliging Russian banks to inform financial intelligence and the Central Bank about requests from government agencies from “unfriendly states”, RBC reports, citing sources. The document was discussed and approved at a meeting of the government commission on legislative activity.

From the expert opinion of the government apparatus on the bill, it follows that the work on the bill is aimed at “counteracting the unfriendly actions of the United States and other foreign states.” Amendments are made to the law on counter-sanctions of 2018 (127-FZ).

According to the bill, banks will have to inform Rosfinmonitoring and the Bank of Russia about requests that have been received “from the competent authorities of unfriendly states” no later than one business day. We are talking about cases when foreigners ask to provide information about citizens of Russia or Russian companies, which constitutes commercial, tax or banking secrets, as well as personal data. The Treasury and the US Department of Justice have the right to require such data if foreign banks have a correspondent account in the US.

“In the opinion of the Bank of Russia, the risks of the US authorities using this right to obtain information previously unavailable to them about any financial transaction, transactions and participants in transactions carried out through Russian banks are extremely high,” the expert opinion to the bill says.

In April, the Ministry of Finance drafted amendments according to which citizens and companies who fell under the sanctions would be provided with guarantees at the legislative level, in particular, for conducting transactions through Russian banks.

How the initiative of the Ministry of Finance will affect credit institutions – in the material “Kommersant FM”.