Tighter rules loom for Russian Forex companies

Many Russian Forex market participants have been displeased with the current version of the Russian Forex law, including restrictions on maximum leverage and tight deadlines for obtaining a Forex dealer license. And yet, all these requirements may seem quite loose if we consider the demands of the Bank of Russia stated in a letter to a deputy of the Russian State Duma (the lower chamber of the Russian parliament).

The letter, published on the website of Bankir.ru, is sent by Sergey Shvetsov, First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia. The recipient is Nikolai Gonchar, Chairman of the Duma’s Financial Market Committee.

The letter is written in response to a question about the possible extension of the period for obtaining a Forex dealer license in Russia. Mr Shvetsov notes that the Bank of Russia does not have any objections regarding the extension to the period until January 1, 2017. A similar stance was already voiced by Bank of Russia’s Deputy Governor Vladimir Chistyukhin.

But whereas such an extension would be a good piece of news for many Russian Forex market participants, the rest of the letter contains several comments that may spark new concerns.

Let’s summarize these.

  • The Bank of Russia wants to be able to change leverage both ways. This means that the regulator would be able to cut leverage below the already tight limit of 50x.
  • The Bank of Russia believes that Forex dealers should be allowed to offer their services only to qualified investors. This may lead to Russian Forex companies losing the bulk of their clientele.
  • The Bank of Russia wants overseas Forex companies to be subject to the Russian Forex regulation in case their clients use Russian IP addresses.

At the same time, today brought a piece of positive news for the Russian Forex industry, as the Bank of Russia granted the first Forex dealer license to FINAM Forex. The process of establishing some rules for the Russian Forex industry is slow, but it is moving…

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