29 September 2011
TV channel Russia Today cites Pavel Sadovsky on a draft law that would give state agencies greater access to people's personal bank account details

Russian banks may open files for nosy agencies

Parliament members are debating a draft law that would give state agencies greater access to people's personal bank account details.

­The amendments will open people’s accounts to such state bodies as the Federal Service for Financial Markets, Russia’s Pension and Social Insurance Funds, the Federal Bailiffs Service, and the Federal Service for Fiscal Monitoring.

The change is aimed at fighting corruption, money laundering and tax evasion. Revising the legislation governing bank secrecy is expected to ease the process of capturing such criminals.

“By law, the court bailiffs first need to enquire about a debtor's open accounts,” Senior Associate Pavel Sadovsky, from Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners, told RT. “Only then can they ask the bank about assets being kept on these accounts and freeze them. This usually takes a long time – enough to hide the money. These amendments will allow the court bailiffs to act faster.”

Earlier this month Russia signed a related agreement with Switzerland allowing Moscow to demand information on the Swiss accounts of Russian citizens suspected of tax evasion.