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Report: Russia mulls travel restrictions for rogue bankers

The Russian State Duma's financial markets committee is preparing a bill aimed at banning top managers and owners of financially unstable banks from leaving the country, Izvestia reported.

An initial proposal would have applied only to the managers and owners of banks whose licenses had been revoked by the Russian central bank or that had been bailed out by the regulator. However, the committee, in the lower house of Russia's Federal Assembly, now wants to widen the new rule to include managers and owners of all banks whose activities and financial stability have been questioned by the regulator. This, for example, will include lenders placed by the central bank into provisional administration.

The committee's head, Anatoly Aksakov, hopes the bill will be ready in the autumn session, Izvestia said.

The Russian central bank earlier expressed support for the idea to introduce restrictions prohibiting owners and managers of failed banks from leaving the country, the newspaper noted, adding that some analysts and market participants fear, however, that the new rules could be abused by the regulator.

The Russian Finance Ministry also supports the motion to prohibit the owners and managers of problem banks from travelling abroad, although Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev noted that the decision on travel restrictions should be taken by a court, and not the central bank, news agency TASS reported Oct. 16.