Employees of the Central Bank will forbid to borrow and to accept expensive gifts


The extension list

The Bank of Russia on Friday, 8 April, published a draft guidance that defines the list of employees who are prohibited from obtaining loans from any organizations, except the Central Bank. As follows from the text of the document, the ban on raising loans will act not only in relation to the head of the Central Bank, his deputies, the chief auditor and accountant, but members of the middle level, including heads of departments, their deputies and heads of departments, heads of territorial divisions of Bank of Russia and experts of the oversight structures.

Another document apply to employees who lead dossier for contractors engaged in the lending or Deposit transactions with banks and dealers. An ordinary employee can get a loan from a Bank or other organization, but with the condition that he is not a supervisor in the Bank and not involved in the test.

“Restriction designed to prevent a conflict of interests employees of the Bank of Russia when fulfilling their duties”, — stated in the explanatory note to the draft of the Central Bank. The regulator plans new rules for staff will take effect from may 2016.

In addition, the Central Bank will forbid employees from accepting gifts from citizens and companies if it is connected with the performance of their representative functions: for example, participation in formal events, business trips and so on. With the exception of stationery, flowers and awards. The employee is obliged to inform the Central Bank and to take the gift for safekeeping. If it turns out that the gift cost less than 3 thousand rubles, it will be returned to the employee.

When it comes to jewelry (made of precious metals and stones), the Central Bank will transfer them to the state Depository to be credited to the state Fund of precious metals and stones. However, in this case the employee of the Central Bank may buy any necklace or an expensive watch, paying them market value. Not purchased by the employees things, the Bank of Russia has the right “to use to ensure its activities” or to sell at auction, and the proceeds to enroll yourself in the income.

Similar restrictions for employees of the Central Bank act and in respect of transactions with foreign banks. They may not be able to open deposits, and also to place cash and valuables. The Central Bank also forbid their employees to possess or use foreign financial instruments. Previously, the ban had applied only to members of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank, now the restrictions will affect even those who work “with information of special importance”.

“These restrictions have been in place for several years, previously they were regulated by local normative acts of Bank of Russia”, said the press service of the Bank on request. The Central Bank noted that these constraints arise from the provisions of the law “On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia)” (in particular, article 91 of the act) and other regulations, including those aimed at fighting corruption.

According to this law, employees of the Bank of Russia really are not able to obtain loans and to buy shares and securities in companies if it might lead to a conflict of interest. Their list was to install the Board of Directors of the Central Bank, however, on the website of the regulator is not detected.

Flowers and champagne

“For the administration of the Central Bank and even the heads of departments and their deputies have always been limited by the ability to borrow from commercial banks,” confirmed the former head of one of departments of the Central Bank. He recalls that the lawyers of the Bank of Russia even had to decide whether or not the operation is an overdraft on the salary card the loan or not. “In the end, decided that there is not to restrict employees,” he says, as for gifts, he said, the senior staff there was a rule limiting the value of gifts to $100. “According to the then exchange rate it was about 3 thousand rubles. Bankers knew about this, so the holidays gave flowers or champagne,” said he.

“The gifts are ordinary employees, for example in the Christmas holidays, birthdays, never questions did not cause,” recalls a former employee of the Central Bank, who worked there a few years ago. According to him, tighter restrictions applied to the officers who conducted inspections of banks.

Vice-President of the international anti-corruption organization Transparency International Elena Panfilova surprised that the Bank of Russia took so much time to develop the documents for corruption in accordance with the requirements of modern legislation. “The Central Bank projects similar to the regulations that are now in operation in other government agencies and some state-owned companies, but they have been taken much earlier. The Central Bank refers to the Federal laws that were adopted in the period of 2002-2008”, — she told.

According to the expert, formerly with the Bank of Russia were standards that limit the ability of the leaders of the regulator to accept expensive gifts or loans to banks. “But, apparently, it took them to finish” — said Panfilov. She believes that ordinary employees of state agencies generally should prohibit to accept any gifts. “In the case of heads that are often required to perform Executive functions, it cannot be avoided. Therefore, regulation is essential,” says Panfilova.

On the other hand, according to Panfilova, as wonderful as are the adopted documents on combating corruption, without their precise execution will not solve the problem. “Look at a series of visitors with the boxes and packages that line up to the entrance of the ministries and major companies on March 7 or during the Christmas holidays. I would like to believe that you give boxes of chocolates and calendars, but I’m afraid it is not so,” says Panfilova.