First Federal Financial Inclusion Strategy for Russia drawn up

Photo: Wise Lee / shutterstock

The Bank of Russia has elaborated draft Financial Inclusion Strategy for Russia in 2018–2020. The document takes into account comments and suggestions expressed at meetings and discussions with representatives of Russian financial market participants, their unions and public associations, as well as international practice and expert advice.

The Strategy’s objectives and priorities are based on an analysis of financial inclusion in Russia today. Country-specific factors account for a number of unaddressed issues in this field, including geography and demographics, the economic environment, and the relatively young financial market.

One of the Strategy’s key objectives is to enhance financial inclusion and the quality of financial services for consumers in remote, underpopulated and rural regions, for demographic groups with limited access to financial services (physically challenged, elderly, and low-income individuals) and for small and medium-sized businesses. The Strategy’s second and more universal objective is to increase the speed and quality of access to financial services for Internet users.

To deliver on these objectives, the Strategy focuses on digital products and services, digital channels and ICT infrastructure, financial institutions’ cooperation with communication service providers and financial agents, and the feasibility of providing financial services via satellite TV channels and other alternative technologies. In addition, the document points out the need to protect consumers from potential risks posed by the use of new financial technologies, and states that financial inclusion is constrained by certain population groups’ mental barrier due to insufficient financial experience.

The Strategy’s authors believe that other financial inclusion drivers in Russia include eliminating regulatory obstacles, analysing proposed laws with a potentially significant impact on access to certain financial services and improving the regulatory framework.

The Bank of Russia Board of Directors has recommended the draft Strategy and taken it as a basis for public and agency-level discussion. Upon its completion and consideration of the proposals, the Bank of Russia will approve the final version of the document.

The financial inclusion improvement measures provided for by the Strategy will be implemented as soon as it is agreed with the concerned agencies.

Comments on the draft Strategy will be accepted until 16 February 2018.

8 February 2018

× Закрыть