Russian c-bank’s plans for introduction of search engine labels for authorized financial firms face opposition

Maria Nikolova

The Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media believes such a change would impose an extra burden on search engines.

Russia’s Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media has opposed the plans of the Russian Central Bank to introduce labels for authorized financial market participants in search engines. 

Russian newspaper “Kommersant” reports that the central bank has drafted amendments to the law “On Information”, proposing requirements for search engine operators to introduce labels for authorized financial services companies, including banks, insurers and Forex dealers. The authorized entities are the ones licensed by the central bank – information about them can be found on the website of the “mega regulator”.

The schedule, format and the deadlines for implementing the labelling plans had to be determined by the Ministry of Communications.

At this point, there are four main search engines in Russia – Google, Yandex, Rambler, and Mail. Yandex is already labelling with a colored sign the websites of authorized financial entities.

However, the Ministry of Communications, “Kommersant” reports, believes that the proposed requirement is excessive with regard to search engine operators. The Ministry adds that, at this point, the website of the financial firms displays information about the licenses of these entities. The Ministry also said that the Internet segment in Russia is, as a whole, sufficiently regulated.

At present, there are only four licensed Forex dealers in Russia. On April 1, 2019, a raft of new requirements for Russian FX dealers entered into force.

Under these new rules, a Forex dealer has to provide certain information on its website: its name (full name and abbreviations, if any), membership in a self-regulatory organization, who its agents are, as well as its policy for paying compensations in case of bankruptcy. Forex dealers will also have to publish information about how a client may complain.

The new standards stress the importance of informing customers about the risks associated with entering into a contract, including the risks of losses or expenses related to meeting contract obligations. All the information has to be made clear for all types of clients, even for ones who lack any special knowledge about the financial markets.

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