Bank of Russia introduces new bank account rules


Legal Update No 872

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP advises that on 30 June 2021, the Bank of Russia issued Guidance No. 204-i “On opening, maintaining and closing bank and deposit accounts” (the “Guidance”) registered by the Ministry of Justice on 18 August 2021.

The new Guidance comes into force on 1 April 2022, replacing current Guidance No. 153-I dated 30 May 2014 “On opening and closing bank and deposit accounts”.

During the transition period ending 1 October 2022, banks should bring their internal documents in line with the Guidance.

Substantially, the new Guidance reiterates the previous provisions, though some are amended to comply with the current legislation and certain technical requirements are abolished (e.g., ink colour). The main new features are that:

  1. Banks must now keep documentary evidence of client applications to open/close accounts as per the banking rules and/or bank servicing agreements.

  2. Banks opening and maintaining accounts are entitled to use all lawfully available sources to obtain information and documents, and verify their validity and accuracy.

  3. Documents and copies required for opening a bank account may be provided electronically. The banking rules must specify how they are obtained and verified.

  4. The new Guidance specifies how the banks should update the client information provided when an account is opened. In particular, if a client has a confirmed account in the ESIA (Unified Identification and Authentication System), banks may check for updates there.

  5. The information to be listed on the client’s signature and stamp card is specified. The banking rules must determine the card formats and how the cards should be filled in and replaced.

  6. If a bank maintains a number of accounts for a client with the same list of authorised signatories, it is entitled either not to demand a separate signature card for each account or to use two or more cards, both depending on the banking rules.

  7. Stricter requirements have been imposed on the banking rules, which must now contain specific provisions, in particular relating to:

    • the documents and information required for opening an account;

    • the procedure for obtaining documents and information and verifying their accuracy and completeness during opening and maintenance of an account;

    • document management rules from the date the document (information) is provided by the client (representative) for the purposes of opening the account until the client is notified of their bank account details.

  8. Current accounts are opened for individuals applying a special tax regime (payers of Professional Income Tax) that are neither sole traders nor private practitioners.

  9. Opening, maintenance and closure of precious metals bank account and deposit agreements are also covered by the Guidance.

  10. The provision that documents could only be translated by an employee qualified as translator has been excluded.

Contact details


If you would like to receive our legal alerts and updates highlighting current legal issues relevant to your areas of interest and providing expert commentary by our lawyers, please click on "Sign Up" and fill out the form.