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ARB head: no mass blocking of bank cards expected Jan 1, 2014

December 31, 2013, 7:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 31, 7:05 /ITAR-TASS/. There will be no mass blocking of bank cards of Russians on January 1, 2014, head of the Association of Russian Banks (ARB) Garegin Tosunyan has promised. However, he said, the access of some customers to their money might be restricted, the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper writes on Tuesday.

This, the daily says, may occur due to lack of contact details of the customer in the banking database. On January 1, the provisions of Article 9 of the Federal Law “On the National Payment System” come into force. The law obliges lenders to notify cardholders of all operations with their cards, which is impossible without a mobile phone number or email address. The Russian Central Bank had previously reported that almost all banks had prepared for the new law’s entry into force. “Only isolated cases of blocking of cards by those credit institutions that have outdated database and have not received information from their customers may occur,” Tosunyan said.

The ARB head advises cardholders, to protect themselves from the unpleasant “surprise,” to visit the site of their bank and check whether the bank posted there a message on the need to give contact details. If it is so, a customer should call the bank’s call centre and provide the details. The customers of small credit institutions should pay particular attention to this, because such banks may close for the New Year’s holidays (that last eight days). Each bank sets its own rules of work for the holidays.

The Moscow Exchange has also a special work regime during the New Year holidays. From December 31 to January 5 inclusive, and on January 7, it will not conduct trading sessions. On January 6 and 8, the exchange has working days: it will hold trading sessions on the stock and futures market in the usual regime. “This reduction in the holiday time has been made to close the gap with international markets,” the press service of the Moscow Exchange told the newspaper.

The official exchange rates of foreign currencies against the rouble will also not be set during the holidays. The RF Central bank will update the rated on December 31, 2013, and they will come into force on 1 January 2014. Then the Central Bank will set the exchange rates on January 9, 2014, and they will come into force on January 10.

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