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National Bank lifted requirement to register passport data when buying currency as demonstration of control over currency market

June 05, 2017 13:20

As of June 1st, 2017, the National Bank lifted the requirement for banks to register passport data of foreign currency buyers. This requirement was introduced in October 2011 and was designed to reduce the rush demand for the currency after three-fold devaluation of the rouble. As a result, the cash currency turnover is likely to increase due to the legalisation of some shadow currency operations. Nevertheless, the population is likely to remain the net currency seller. Tax and regulatory bodies will lose one of the main tools for monitoring people’s incomes, which may lead to a reduction in income tax surcharges from citizens with unofficial incomes. By abolishing control over private currency transactions, the National Bank aims to demonstrate controllability of the foreign exchange market to foreign investors and creditors. For citizens, this means that the exchange rate would be relatively stable and would facilitate the dedollarisation of the economy.

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