Russia’s c-bank initiates blocking of 400 websites of unlicensed entities

Maria Nikolova

Many of the websites are run by companies offering financial services to Russian clients, without having the necessary licenses from the Bank of Russia.

stealing leads

The Bank of Russia has targeted the websites of companies that illegally target Russian clients. According to a press release, published by Russia’s “Megaregulator” today, the central bank has initiated the blocking of 400 websites, many of which were related to phishing or to spreading of malware.

The domain names blocked include ones by fraudulent companies which offer financial services to Russian clients without having the necessary licenses issued by the Bank of Russia. These websites belong to companies active in the FX industry or banking, and dealing with these companies can lead to substantial losses, the Bank of Russia warns.

The regulator also notes that in cases where the company is registered abroad and has no Russian license, investors are not protected.

The Bank of Russia said it plans further measures to counteract the illicit practices in the financial markets.

In the meantime, the central bank has cleared another hurdle towards getting powers to block websites of overseas FX brokers that try to lure Russian clientele without having the proper license. The Ministry of Economic Development has published a positive assessment of the bill drafted by the Ministry of Сommunications and Mass Media, which proposes amendments to the Law “On Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection”. The next step is a review of the document by the Russian government.

In June this year, Artem Sychev, Deputy Head of the Central Directorate for Security and Information Protection at the Bank of Russia, explained that for the time being the Russian authorities have the right to block websites with .ru, .su and .рф domain names. If a company targets Russian clients without having the permission to do so, its website address is entered into a special register operated by the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) and is then blocked.

Mr Sychev noted back then that this procedure should be amended to cover websites with other domain names, apart from the above mentioned ones. This would enable protection of the rights of Forex broker clients, according to him.

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