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Bank of Russia drafts Financial Inclusion Priorities for next three years

29 September 2021

Enhancement of financial inclusion through the development of online service channels is among the key objectives of the Bank of Russia’s activity. These efforts should be combined with measures aimed at reducing the risks of digital inequality and strengthening cyber security.

In the future, any consumer should have the opportunity to quickly and safely access any financial service anywhere at any time. This is what the market and the regulator will consider to be high-quality servicing.

In its draft document, the Bank of Russia emphasises that it is crucial to take into account the interests of those consumers who cannot or do not wish to receive financial services online. It is critical to maintain physical points of access to such services in remote and sparsely populated areas lacking well-developed communication infrastructure. Furthermore, it is essential to continue to adapt financial institutions’ offices and remote services in order to develop a barrier-free environment for people with disabilities, elderly and physically challenged people.

The Bank of Russia suggests discussing necessary efforts that would ensure access to a broader range of high-quality financial products and services for low-income people and measures required to enhance their protection. Possible approaches are to employ responsible lending principles, create conditions to protect households with relatively low incomes against impulsive financial decisions, and increase the affordability of financial products and services. The latter will be greatly promoted by the advancement of digital infrastructure, among other things.

The Bank of Russia will continue its efforts to implement the mechanism of funding for small banks for them to issue loans to small and medium-sized enterprises, to support companies’ entry into the securities market, and to develop financial platforms, crowdfunding, factoring, the services of the Faster Payments System for businesses, and other infrastructure solutions.

The document contains the plan for addressing financial inclusion objectives stipulated in the Guidelines for the Development of the Russian Financial Market. The Bank of Russia will approve the final version of the draft after the completion of the public discussion, taking into account the feedback received.

You are welcome to send your feedback on the draft until 10 October 2021.

Preview photo: ArtEvent ET / Shutterstock / Fotodom