Russia’s central bank has advised commercial banks to identify and block cards and accounts in obscure corporate portfolios. Apart from illegal currency traders and financial pyramids, regulatory authorities also list cryptocurrencies as suspicious.
The New AML recommendations from the Bank of Russia is aimed at cryptocurrency exchangers.
Russia’s central bank has issued a number of criteria that banks can use to identify cards and e-wallets used in the shadowy economy. According to monetary authorities, this includes not only illegal currency traders and financial pyramids, but also cryptocurrency exchangers.
Banks pay particular attention to transactions between individuals as regulators claim that these companies often use accounts registered under false names to make and receive payments. Banks of Russia are expected to analyze and identify suspicious transactions and stop services as part of anti-money laundering (AML) efforts.
Among the operations classified as worrisome, the Bank of Russia mentions deposits and withdrawals of cash when they are more than 30 per day. A large number of individual payers or recipients, more than 10 per day or 50 per month, should also encourage financial institutions to act.
The same applies to transactions that often occur when the total amount is at least 100,000 Russian rubles (nearly $1,400) per day or 1 million rubles ($14,000) per month, the report said. The short interval – less than a minute – between deposits and withdrawals should also alert bank employees.
Accounts that are not used to pay electricity bills are considered suspicious
The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) also advises commercial banks to consider cases where the average outstanding balance at the end of each day does not exceed 10% of the average daily transaction volume of the week. Accounts that are not used to pay utility bills or pay for goods and services can also be blacklisted.
Bank customers can be considered suspicious if their transactions meet two or more of the criteria described. To identify the individual, the Bank of Russia also instructed the bank to trace digital fingerprints left by account holders, including identification devices used for remote access and transferring funds.
The Bank of Russia opposes the legalization of cryptocurrencies and related activities, while other Russian authorities are looking for websites that disseminate information about cryptocurrency trading and platforms that provide access to exchange services. In July, the tax authorities issued a recommendation against listing securities related to crypto assets on Russian stock exchanges.
Do you expect the central bank’s move to seriously affect cryptocurrency exchanges in Russia? Share your thoughts on this issue in the comments below.