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Putin signs ban on foreign bank branches

March 15, 2013 at 5:57 PM

MOSCOW, March 15 (UPI) -- President Vladimir Putin has signed a law barring foreign banks from opening branches in Russia, his office said Friday.

The measure adopted by the State Duma, or lower house of Russia's parliament, in February and the Federal Council, the upper house, March 6 amends existing banking laws and regulations, RIA Novosti reported Friday. Foreign banks would still be able to open Russian subsidiaries.

An explanatory note says subsidiaries are governed by Russian banking law while branches are not. Backers of the measure said Russian banks will be more competitive if they do not have to compete with branch banks exempt from reserve and reporting requirements.

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