Russian central bank eases FX restrictions for banks


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MOSCOW — Russia’s central bank said on Saturday a slight easing of foreign currency restrictions on banks that took effect this week would boost the supply of cash dollars and euros on the local market.

Under current rules, banks have only been allowed to sell foreign currency cash that had been bought from individuals after April 9.

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But since the start of this week, they have been permitted to sell cash dollars and euros obtained from other sources, financial news outlet Frank Media reported on Saturday, citing a letter sent by the central bank to credit institutions.

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“This is an additional tweak to the measures already in place, which allow for the increased supply of cash dollars and euros on the Russian market,” the Bank of Russia said on Saturday, in response to an emailed request for comment.

The change marks an easing of capital controls that have buttressed the rouble in recent months. It will put downside pressure on the local currency and could ease concerns among Russian households about the supply of foreign currency.

With the exception of dollars and euros, Russian banks have been permitted to sell citizens foreign currency without restrictions since May.

Curbs on dollars and euros are set to remain in place until March 9, 2023. (Reporting by Reuters Editing by Helen Popper)


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