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Russian Finance Ministry, Central Bank mull helping banks affected by sanctions

September 16, 2014, 14:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The banking sector lacks access to Western long-term borrowing markets after the European and US sanctions

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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Japaridze

MOSCOW, September 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Finance Ministry and the Central Bank (CBR) discuss helping the banking sector, which lacks access to Western long-term borrowing markets after the European and US sanctions, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev told reporters Tuesday.

“We are considering this issue, and we are discussing this with the Central Bank. But firstly, this is an issue to be solved by the Central Bank because we do not have foreign currencies,” Moiseyev said. There is a structural deficit of US dollars on the Russian market already, he said.

On September 12, CBR Chairwoman Elvira Nabiullina said that despite unavailability of some of the borrowing markets for Russian banks, there is no need for the Central Bank to provide the banks with loans denominated in foreign currencies.

Visa and MasterCard operations in Russia

According to Moiseyev, the government decided to postpone the deadline for Visa and MasterCard to start providing all processing services in Russia using capacities on the Russian territory. The deadline was previously slated for October 31.

The payment systems did not manage to find a partner for processing in Russia by the beginning of September, Visa and MasterCard said earlier.

Russia has recently passed a law making foreign payment systems place a pledge with the CBR to continue operating in the country. Cooperation with a processing company in Russia will allow international payment systems to avoid payments. The law also stipulates the creation of a national payment system.

Kommersant business daily reported earlier in September that the Central Bank suggested Visa and MasterCard cooperating with the national payment system.

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