MOSCOW - A consumer boom that has been seen on the electricity, car and housing market over the past two-three years, may be curtailed soon.
The State Duma is going to expand the list of companies and other legal entities obliged to report information about their clients to financial monitoring agencies. Not only banks, but also realtors, private accountants, insurance, trust and leasing companies, casinos, game centers, precious stone sellers, law firms, lawyers and notaries will have to report on their clients.
Almost a year ago, in June 2003, the authorities abandoned the idea to control citizens’ spending. The article, which was abandoned at that time, had almost not worked. But the act of cancellation itself was intended to demonstrate the liberalization of Russian laws.
According to the official story, the idea to tighten control of citizens’ spending belongs to the Financial Monitoring Committee. A source in the committee, which is being transformed into the Federal Service for Financial Monitoring, said the government warned the committee not to relax too much after Russia was removed from the FATF blacklist of non-cooperative nations, but continue the fight against money laundering.
It seems the government’s instruction also explains the recent statement by Viktor Zubkov, Chairman of the Committee, about the coming “clean-up” of the banking sector. According to Vladislav Reznik, Chairman of the State Duma Banking Committee, who represents the bill, it is aimed against money laundering, not against businessmen.