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Under the fear of blackness

How do blacklists of banks change the rules for business in the Far East?

Although the 2018 year was largely marked by the rehabilitation of business rights through the efforts of the mega-regulator, banks continue to blacklist businessmen on the basis of the law granted by Federal Law No. 115-FZ "On Countering the Legalization (Laundering) of Proceeds from Crime and Financing of Terrorism" . However, the criteria for entering into the list of unreliable clients continue to remain unclear until the end for the companies themselves, and some banks in the Far East exit the internal “black lists” by purchasing an additional service package from 100 thousand to 1 million rubles, depending on the size of the business. EastRussia figured out how not to get into the “black lists” and how to get out of them.

Under the fear of blackness

Federal Law No. 115-FZ “On Counteracting Legalization (Laundering) of Proceeds from Crime and Financing of Terrorism”, which is used as an argument for entering a client into the “black lists” of the Central Bank and Rosfinmonitoring, does not contain exhaustive explanations of refusals to entrepreneurs when opening accounts issuing a loan or carrying out a payment order. The 30 March 2018 of the Methodological Guidelines for the rehabilitation of bona fide clients and the Central Bank от s 15.06.2017 information letter No. IN-014-12 / 29 that came into force from the point of view of businessmen did not bring any tangible effect.

In the Far East, the blocking of accounts particularly affected businessmen engaged in intermediary services, including under the cession agreement, real estate, large and small wholesale companies, the tourism business, construction, shipping, etc. According to entrepreneurs, credit organizations in Primorye during the 2017-2018 years. could block any such operations for any amounts. In fact, this later became the basis for inclusion in the internal black list, which a particular bank could willingly share with its market partners. This is followed by a chain reaction.

The reasons for which may suspend payment, and then block the account, not count. So, the head of one of the Vladivostok companies complains that the bank put a "stop" on the payment in 300 thousand rubles, then later agreed to transfer the amount to the same counterparty in the amount of 50 thousand rubles. In the future, the employees of the bank, included in the top ten of the system-forming ones, hinted that a large number of transfers for small amounts could also be the reason for the suspension of account operations.

Permanent payments for large sums are also suspicious, as is the “arrival-withdrawal” of money from one account to the next day. Banks often make remarks when they see that a company carries out several types of activity, although companies officially have several codes according to the classifier OKVED (contains a list of economic activities), which is recorded in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities.

One of the coastal companies, a commercial bank with foreign participation in accordance with the Bank of Russia Regulation No. 20.06.2017-P from 550, entered the so-called “black list” for a payment order for the transfer of wages to its employees before the New Year. As it turned out, the insistent demands of the firm’s management to execute the payment only aggravated the bankers ’confidence in the right“ against money laundering ”.


“So far, the following trend is clearly visible - we, that is, business, are obliged to comply with the law, but banks are not. They even interpret the instructions of the Central Bank at their own discretion and out of time or do not answer our requests at all. According to the amendments to Federal Law No. 470-FZ of December 29, 2017, which came into force on March 30, 2018, banks are obliged to disclose to their customers the reasons for refusing to open an account or not performing a particular operation. But I, as a lawyer, can declare responsibly - banks still continue to refer to 115-FZ without explaining specific reasons, without analyzing all the documentation received from the client, ”complains the head of the Vesta company, which deals with accounting and legal services for organizations. and individuals.

“In fact, the refusal is made on a personal level. The gap in analysts whose staff is reduced is clearly visible. And now the federal banks, having the so-called "hubs" for processing payments in Novosibirsk or Yekaterinburg, do not have time to evaluate and process a monetary transaction in a day. In this case, send a waiver, which, as a rule, is followed by an account lock. And to go into the shadow of a respectable wholesale business is the same as putting an end to yourself. Cash turnover is strictly limited to the amount of 100 thousand rubles per day, and then - for retail companies, ”says the expert.

In accordance with the new rules, banks must report to Rosfinmonitoring about any refusals to their customers to conduct operations. But Rosfinmonitoring specialists do not go into the nuances of business in the Far East. One of the Primorye entrepreneurs, who legally has been operating for more than 15 years, was simply shocked by a question from the staff of this service during a videoconference from Novosibirsk, why he, transporting fuel oil in tanker tanks from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, cannot refuel using his own power, but makes a stop in Korsakov?


Challenging blocking in court takes, according to businessmen's calculations, at least six months - plus several months on appeal. In addition, regional or federal banks may declare another city of jurisdiction, for example, Moscow, where the head office of the bank is registered.
In the Far Eastern State Bank of Russia, EastRussia was informed that in November 2017, the Central Bank, together with Rosfinmonitoring, developed guidelines for the rehabilitation of bona fide clients, information about which could be included in the information array due to technical errors or reasons not related to the risk of laundering (clause 13.4-13.6, Article 7 of the Federal Law 115-ФЗ and Directive of the Bank of Russia on March 30 (2018г. N 4760-У). When eliminating the grounds for refusal, the bank must submit information to Rosfinmonitoring, which in turn communicates this information to all financial organizations, during the day. And the Bank of Russia sends rehabilitation information to all banks almost in real time.

“To date, in Russia as a whole, more than 7,7 thousands of failures have been canceled due to the submission of necessary documents by clients, more than 4,5 thousands of clients have been rehabilitated. It can be said that there is a “domino” effect - when the rehabilitation of a client by one bank entails the “rehabilitation” of the same client by a number of other banks. In general, in January-May 2018, the number of failures, compared with the same period last year, decreased by 33%. At the same time, the number of individuals included in the list of so-called otkazniks has more than doubled, ”the press service of the Far Eastern State Bank of Russia notes. Statistics at the regional level, unfortunately, is not yet available, as well as complete statistics for the 2018 year.

In the interregional office of Rosfinmonitoring in the Far Eastern Federal District, it was reported that information about how many companies and individual entrepreneurs entered so-called “blacklists” under federal law No. 115-FZ cannot be provided to the media by the agency. Information can be provided by Rosfinmonitoring only to law enforcement and tax authorities in accordance with their competence. In other cases, there is a business, banking, tax, trade secret or communication secret.


Unofficially, credit institutions say that cash withdrawals from the settlement account of an LLC and individual entrepreneur are under special control: “Many entrepreneurs started their business in the 90s. XX century, so there remain to this day, believing that, for example, individual entrepreneurs' money is their personal property: "as much as I want, I rent so much." But today, the policy of the Central Bank is such that banks limit their transaction risks and suspend such operations, block accounts or corporate cards after the fact. ”

“Transit operations are also in the“ danger zone ”. For example, money came in on account of payment for goods or services to an LLC, and its head scatters them in parts on their own IP, thereby avoiding taxes. We also block them. Clients, of course, indirectly understand the reason, this is recognized to us in the course of informal communication. After blocking, we send a request to the client for a questionable, from our point of view, operation, if he did not respond in due time, we send the data to Rosfinmonitoring. In some cases, we ask customers to close the account delicately and open it in another bank, or transfer money to an individual, ”say the bankers.

In principle, any client of the bank may be suspected of underpaying taxes, and the tax itself has no claims to the business. “Often entrepreneurs resent: that you are stuck with my tax burden? Tax does not expose such requirements. But we have our own calculations, according to which the tax burden on the enterprise should be 13-18%, and we demand only from 1 to 3%, ”explains the employees of the banks.

Business is surprised by this approach. For example, sometimes banks require the payment of personal income tax first, and then the salaries of employees. “The bank often calculates the expected burden on the company, counting all the money in circulation. Therefore, at times, we specifically send to the account of taxes a larger amount than is provided for by the tax regime. And then problems begin with the tax inspectorate, which in the course of a desk audit asks, why do you indicate one amount in your declaration, according to calculations under the Tax Code, and pay another? " - entrepreneurs say.


Getting into the internal "black lists" of banks that did not reach Rosfinmonitoring, at first glance, seems to be a "slight fright." But even with the introduction of a loan or overdraft in them, it becomes a nerve-intensive arrangement.

The founders of Novy Mir LLC say that for them everything started with the fact that when they applied for a loan in one of the partner banks, they were told that they were ready to take the company out of the list of problem customers where another bank had brought them. “As a result, in order to protect our honest name, we prepared a whole stack of documents. Since the bank is federal, and the staff of analysts has long been reduced, go to the place and check whether our business is indeed legal, and we are at the address, local specialists did not have the opportunity, ”the entrepreneurs say.

In another federal bank, mortgaged property has become a stumbling block: its value should be three times the amount of the loan. “We did not consider it possible to pledge the only housing. By the way, we were hinted that the easiest way is to arrange a loan for an individual up to 3 million rubles and not to worry about a business loan of 1 million rubles, ”say businessmen.

“One of the largest coastal banks so tediously and for a long time examined our documents that we ourselves gave up and refused his services. Another small regional bank approved a loan, the bank’s security service provided a positive opinion, and the Guarantee Fund of the Primorsky Territory confirmed the collateral. But the bank did not open an account for us just because of the existence of an internal “black list”, “they continue in the New World”.

Entrepreneurs say that each bank set its own requirements when considering an application for a loan - some watched the turnover, others pledged, and so on. As a result, the company managed to open an overdraft in one of the small federal banks, "though not on the most favorable terms, but quickly and without unnecessary red tape."


Oleg Gerasimov, the ombudsman for the protection of the rights of entrepreneurs in the Khabarovsk Territory, notes that the main difficulty for businesses when they are blacklisted is that “no one explains to entrepreneurs what exactly caused the bank’s suspicion.” “Last year we had several such appeals. Together with the applicants we talked with banks. As a rule, they refer to the notorious 115-FZ and the Central Bank’s standards, without explaining anything else. The Central Bank does not give any explanations. As a rule, they are represented by branches, then all further questions are simply addressed to the management of a bank in another city, ”says the business ombudsman.

And if in large Far Eastern cities, Oleg Gerasimov continues, an entrepreneur can simply switch to service at another bank, in small settlements where one or two credit institutions are represented, getting into the “black lists” puts the business in a hopeless situation. “Now we have just one such appeal from Okhotsk, where there are only two banks. For entrepreneurs in small villages, getting under a bank block is a huge problem, in fact, closing all settlement transactions,” he says.

All cases known to him that a business was included in the "black lists" ended with a transition to service in another bank: the Khabarovsk business ombudsman acknowledges the positive experience of challenging the blocking, although its procedure has been determined. The Commissioners for the Protection of the Rights of Entrepreneurs, he said, asked the Central Bank to publish "intelligible criteria for classifying transactions as suspicious and undesirable, according to which any businessman could conduct a self-assessment - whether he falls into the risk zone": "But such criteria are still not disclosed. "

“In any case, the problem is gradually becoming more and more resonant, it is being discussed at the federal level. After all, essentially all cases of unreasonable blacklisting or blocking of operations are exaggerations: they are trying to fight one, and at the same time sweep away another. that banking institutions will come to what entrepreneurs will begin to explain: what they are wrong with and how to fix it. Perhaps there should be some kind of special service or “one window” in each bank, where anyone caught under blocking will be able to receive specific information rmatsiyu about what to do, to stay the bank's customers need openness and transparency in this matter, "-. said Oleg Gerasimov. 
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