Bill enabling Russian c-bank to block websites of financial pyramids passes first reading

Maria Nikolova

The bill for cracking down on financial pyramids complies with earlier orders by Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament, today confirms that a bill aiming to clamp down on the activities of financial pyramids has successfully passed its first reading. The bill complies with earlier orders issued Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.

The bill grants the Central Bank of Russia the necessary powers to block the websites of financial pyramids and other fraudulent financial entities, which violate the law.

The Central Bank will be given the right to include certain websites in the single register of websites that provide information non-compliant with the Russian law. These websites mislead clients about the provision of financial services by entities that do not have permission to do so under the law.

If the bill gets a final approval, it will get into effect 180 days after its official publication.

Speaking of illicit financial schemes, let’s recall that the Central Bank of Russia identified 208 illegal Forex brokers in the first half of 2018, according to Valery Lyakh, Head of the Bank of Russia’s Department for Countering Malpractice. The list of these 208 entities includes foreign Forex brokers that illegally target Russian clients, as well as Russia-based companies which operate without the necessary FX dealer licenses, as required by the Russian law.

In December last year, the Central Bank announced it was revoking the Forex dealer licenses of five companies, including Alpari Forex, Forex Club and TeleTrade. The regulator said the licenses were taken away due to violations of the Russian law by the brokers. The companies have until January 27, 2019, to return all funds to their clients.

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