OREANDA-NEWS  Only three banks with a basic license in Russia out of about 100 were able to open foreign accounts for international settlements, RIA Novosti found out and Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market, confirmed to the agency.

As of April 1, 2023, there are 101 banks with a basic license in Russia, according to the Central Bank. The agency studied the websites of credit institutions with a basic license, it turned out that three banks have foreign accounts. One of the players managed to establish correspondent relations with banks in Uzbekistan, Armenia and Turkey, the other has accounts in Azerbaijan, the third - in Kazakhstan.

"Three banks have opened somewhere, but the process is underway, the rest are negotiating," Aksakov said, adding that the process of opening such accounts is "complicated, but, nevertheless, it is underway."

Small banks in Russia in the first half of 2022 faced significant problems when making settlements in foreign currencies, since the major players through whom they carried out such operations were under the sanctions of the collective West. In this regard, banks with a basic license were given the opportunity to independently enter foreign financial organizations until 2024. The relevant law came into force on July 25, 2022.

Aksakov believes that "such a norm should be made permanent."

In early March, the head of the Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiullina, said that the regulator was considering the possibility of permanently removing restrictions for banks with a basic license to open foreign accounts.
At the same time, the director of the Department of Banking Regulation and Analytics of the Central Bank, Alexander Danilov, answering the question whether restrictions on opening correspondent accounts abroad for settlement non-bank credit institutions will be similarly lifted, replied that this issue is now being considered.