Local media reported on Thursday that the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) advised commercial banks to increase monitoring of customers’ transactions. In order to avoid the CBR’s “special economic measures to fight the outflow of foreign currency overseas”. Closer control of cryptocurrency trading, which is listed as one of the ways to withdraw money from Russia, is part of the recommendation.
In fact, CBR deputy chairman Yuri Isaev addressed a letter to financial institutions on Wednesday. Directing them to pay more attention to instances of “strange behaviour” by its clients. This includes unusual spending habits and “odd” transactional activities. The letter specifies that any money withdrawals made using digital currency should be under control and observation.
Suspicious transactions should be banned if necessary, and information about them forwarded on to the Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring).
In the early days of the Ukraine war and the ensuing economic sanctions, special measures to prevent the outflow of foreign currencies imposed. They include a $5,000 foreign currency limit for Russian citizens and a $10,000 cash limit for those travelling overseas. Buying real estate, securities, and other assets from citizens of “unfriendly” jurisdictions necessitates official approval.
Preventing the growth of schemes
Aleksey Voylukov, the vice-chairman of the Russian Banks Association, told journalists that the CBR’s suggestions aimed at preventing the growth of schemes to avoid the imposed limits, particularly through cryptocurrency exchanges.
The finding is unsurprising given that more than 10 million Russian citizens own about 5 trillion rubles ($63 billion) in cryptocurrency. Many Russian people left with little choice but to use crypto. In order to move their assets after their Visa and Mastercard cards banned. And their own government imposed tight transaction limitations.
There are numerous reports of Russian oligarchs attempting to conceal their money. However, ordinary people are ultimately the ones who rely on the digital asset infrastructure. In the face of surging inflation and tightening government monetary control.