Wednesday, June 9 2021 16:56
Naira Badalian

CBA initiative to create a centralized register of bank accounts of  individuals was approved by relevant parliamentary committee

CBA initiative to create a centralized register of bank accounts of  individuals was approved by relevant parliamentary committee

ArmInfo.The legislative initiative of the Central Bank of Armenia on the formationof a Centralized Register of Bank Accounts of Individuals will allow to reduce  operating costs when the competent (authorized) bodies apply for  data. On June 9, Deputy Head of the Central Bank of Armenia Nerses  Yeritsyan stated this at the sitting of the Standing Committee of the  National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia on Budgetary and  Financial-Credit Issues, during which the amendments to the law "On  the Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia" were approved.

Let us remind that earlier Yeritsyan, presenting this legislative  initiative in the parliament, noted that the necessity of introducing  such a register proceeds from the global standards of combating money  laundering and financing of terrorism. In the future, these changes,  according to him, will allow developing innovative ideas related to  the automation of bank accounts of citizens, the introduction of  electronic money, etc. At the same time, Yeritsyan noted that the  register does not contain information about the account balance or  current flows of funds. He explained that the effectiveness lies in  the fact that during various analyzes and communications with law  enforcement agencies, not all accounts or banks will be questioned,  but only those that are the subject of the dispute will be  selectively collected.

"The draft law underwent a comprehensive discussion. During the  period from the first to the second reading, only one proposal was  received - from the Ministry of Justice and that was of a technical  nature," Nerses Yeritsyan stated during the discussion today.

The deputy head touched upon the concern of representatives of the  expert community that the bill violates the foundations of the  institution of banking secrecy. This data, as he explained, at this  stage is already available to a certain circle of persons within the  framework of the Law on Bank Secrecy. "By creating a registry, we  will only reduce operating costs in the course of these functions,"  he explained. In particular, if it is necessary to clarify certain  data, for example, at the request of law enforcement agencies, the  request will not be sent to 17 commercial banks operating in Armenia,  but will "turn" directly to the Register. In addition, as the Deputy  Chairman of the CBA emphasized, the law is by no means about  providing data to the tax authority, which is protected by the same  law "On Bank Secrecy".

Another goal of the legislative initiative, according to Yeritsyan,  is the formation of appropriate infrastructures for the further  development of the online services sector. Yeritsyan once again  stressed that the initiative is important from the point of view of  innovation. In the future, the Register will contribute to the  implementation of the idea of forming a national identification  system, within the framework of which every citizen will have an  account. In this context, he noted that a centralized register would  allow offering citizens various combined services, including outside  the country.

As the representative of the Central Bank explained, information on  opening a current account of an individual will automatically enter  the system. As for the existing accounts, then, according to him, the  authors of the project "with the statute of limitations" have not yet  been determined, but, perhaps, the system will cover a 5-year period.

It should be reminded that the initiative of the Central Bank of  Armenia related to the creation of the Centralized Register of Bank  Accounts is connected with the obligations of Armenia within the  framework of the EU-Armenia Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which  entered into force last month. It concerns the so-called "Fifth AML  Directive (Anti-Money Laundering Directive)" of the European Union,  which entered into force on January 10, 2020. This is a new measure  to prevent attempts to launder money, including through the market of  cryptocurrency services, exchange offices and exchanges.  According  to some experts, this directive could scare off money laundering  investors in developing countries. But on the other hand, from the  point of view of the state of the economies and the investment  environment, third countries entering into associative relations with  the EU still need additional, albeit not entirely "legal",  development incentives. 


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