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Banking & Finance law in Russia and beyond

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CMS ad­vises PJSC URALKALI on its de­but $1.25bn sus­tain­ab­il­ity-linked pre-ex­port...
CMS has ad­vised PJSC Uralkali on its de­but $1.25bn sus­tain­ab­il­ity-linked pre-ex­port fin­ance fa­cil­ity ar­ranged by, among oth­ers, COM­MERZBANK CRÉDIT AG­RI­COLE COR­POR­ATE & IN­VEST­MENT BANK, ING BANK, SO­CI­ETE...
CMS ad­vises Money­Gram on in­clu­sion in­to the re­gister of op­er­at­ors of for­eign...
CMS has ad­vised Money­Gram, one of the largest pro­viders of money trans­fers in the world, on in­clu­sion in­to the re­gister of op­er­at­ors of for­eign pay­ment sys­tems by the Cent­ral Bank of the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion...
CMS ad­vised share­hold­ers of West­ern Siberi­an Com­mer­cial Bank on the sale...
CMS Rus­sia has ad­vised share­hold­ers of West­ern Siberi­an Com­mer­cial Bank (WSCB) on the sale of their shares rep­res­ent­ing a total of 71.8 per­cent of the bank’s share cap­it­al to VTB Bank.WSCB is one of...


The former Mo­scow of­fice of CMS to con­tin­ue work­ing as an in­de­pend­ent law...
On 15 June 2022, the former Mo­scow of­fice of the in­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS an­nounces the start of work as an in­de­pend­ent law firm un­der the new brand name SEAM­LESS Leg­al.Over 80 col­leagues of the Mo­scow of­fice con­tin­ue work­ing as one team, led by Man­aging Part­ner Jean-Fran­cois Mar­quaire and Seni­or Part­ner Le­onid Zubar­ev.We keep ad­vising our cli­ents across all 23 prac­tices and sec­tors: We lean on 30 years of ex­pert­ise and an im­pec­cable repu­ta­tion as part of an in­ter­na­tion­al law firm. We have al­ways abided by strict pro­fes­sion­al stand­ards and will con­tin­ue provid­ing ser­vices of the highest qual­ity. Jean-Fran­cois Mar­quaire, Man­aging Part­ner: “We are proud of hav­ing been able to cre­ate and pre­serve a united team with a friendly cor­por­ate cul­ture and re­spons­ible at­ti­tude to our busi­ness.”Le­onid Zubar­ev, Seni­or Part­ner: “Our new brand SEAM­LESS Leg­al most ac­cur­ately re­flects the ap­proach to work that has de­veloped over the years in our firm – in­teg­rity and co­her­ence, im­pec­cab­il­ity, con­tinu­ity and un­in­ter­rup­ted sup­port to our cli­ents at any time."
Rus­sia sanc­tions 31 for­eign com­pan­ies
On 11 May 2022, the Rus­si­an Gov­ern­ment sanc­tioned 31 en­tit­ies from the EU, US, UK, Singa­pore and Switzer­land and their con­trolled en­tit­ies (the “Sanc­tioned Per­sons”) pur­su­ant to De­cree of the Rus­si­an Pres­id­ent No. 252* dated 3 May 2022 (the “De­cree”). The list of the above men­tioned en­tit­ies is set out in Rus­si­an Gov­ern­ment Reg­u­la­tion No. 851* (the “Reg­u­la­tion”). The Rus­si­an Min­istry of Fin­ance may sub­mit pro­pos­als to the Gov­ern­ment to amend this list.Un­der the De­cree, fed­er­al state au­thor­it­ies, state au­thor­it­ies of con­stitu­ent en­tit­ies of the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion, oth­er state au­thor­it­ies, mu­ni­cip­al au­thor­it­ies, as well as leg­al en­tit­ies and in­di­vidu­als un­der the jur­is­dic­tion of the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion (the “Reg­u­lated Per­sons”) are pro­hib­ited from:lower-al­phaper­form­ing trans­ac­tions (in­clud­ing for­eign trade con­tracts) with Sanc­tioned Per­sons;dis­char­ging out­stand­ing ob­lig­a­tions to Sanc­tioned Per­sons (in­clud­ing ob­lig­a­tions un­der for­eign trade con­tracts); an­d­car­ry­ing out fin­an­cial op­er­a­tions with Sanc­tioned Per­sons as be­ne­fi­ciar­ies. The Rus­si­an Min­istry of Fin­ance is en­titled to is­sue of­fi­cial cla­ri­fic­a­tions for para­graphs a) and b) above, and the Bank of Rus­sia may give cla­ri­fic­a­tions for para­graph c) above.The Reg­u­la­tion also sets out ad­di­tion­al cri­ter­ia for qual­i­fy­ing the fol­low­ing trans­ac­tions as re­stric­ted un­der para­graphs a) and b) above:trans­ac­tions to the be­ne­fit of Sanc­tioned Per­sons; trans­ac­tions provid­ing for the call at Rus­si­an ports of ves­sels owned and/or chartered by, for or on be­half of Sanc­tioned Per­sons; an­dtrans­ac­tions provid­ing for pay­ments or se­cur­it­ies trans­ac­tions in­volving and/or to the be­ne­fit of Sanc­tioned Per­sons.The re­stric­tions lis­ted above will ap­ply if Reg­u­lated Per­sons are aware that the ac­tions are taken to the be­ne­fit of Sanc­tioned Per­sons.The De­cree also im­poses a ban on the ex­port out­side of the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion of products and/or raw ma­ter­i­als pro­duced and/or ex­trac­ted in the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion if they are sup­plied to (i) Sanc­tioned Per­sons, and/or (ii) oth­er per­sons by Sanc­tioned Per­sons.Al­though the Reg­u­la­tion pro­hib­its trans­ac­tions with Sanc­tioned Per­sons only in the case of per­form­ance of the trans­ac­tions and op­er­a­tions un­der para­graphs a) to c) above, we be­lieve that, based on the De­cree, the list of Sanc­tioned Per­sons should also ap­ply for the pur­pose of pro­hib­it­ing rel­ev­ant ex­port op­er­a­tions (un­less oth­er­wise provided for in reg­u­la­tions or of­fi­cial cla­ri­fic­a­tions).Cer­tain trans­ac­tions with Sanc­tioned Per­sons may be al­lowed on the basis of spe­cial per­mits as may be pro­posed to the Gov­ern­ment by the Rus­si­an Min­istry of Fin­ance.We will con­tin­ue to mon­it­or these de­vel­op­ments and keep you in­formed of changes.* In Rus­si­an
Rus­si­an Pres­id­ent signs de­cree on ad­di­tion­al counter sanc­tions meas­ures
On 18 March 2022, De­cree of the Rus­si­an Pres­id­ent No. 126* “On Ad­di­tion­al Tem­por­ary Eco­nom­ic Meas­ures to En­sure Fin­an­cial Sta­bil­ity of the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion in the Sphere of Cur­rency Reg­u­la­tion” (the “De­cree”) entered in­to force.Ad­di­tion­al powers of the Cent­ral Bank of the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion (the “CBR”)Un­der the De­cree, the Board of Dir­ect­ors of the CBR may lim­it the amount of:•       pre­pay­ments or ad­vance pay­ments made by non-res­id­ent leg­al en­tit­ies (oth­er than cred­it in­sti­tu­tions) un­der cer­tain con­tracts with for­eign res­id­ents: from 1 April 2022*, such pay­ment may not ex­ceed 30% of the amount of ob­lig­a­tions un­der con­tracts for the pro­vi­sion by a non-res­id­ent of ser­vices, per­form­ance of works, trans­fer of in­form­a­tion and res­ults of in­tel­lec­tu­al activ­it­ies, if the amount of ob­lig­a­tions un­der the con­tract ex­ceeds USD 15,000;   •    funds trans­fers from non-res­id­ent leg­al en­tit­ies re­gistered in the states lis­ted in Rus­si­an Gov­ern­ment De­cree No. 430-r dated 5 March 2022 (the “Un­friendly States”) or to ac­counts or banks and oth­er fin­an­cial mar­ket or­gan­isa­tions in the Un­friendly States; and   •    for­eign cur­rency that can be pur­chased by non-res­id­ent leg­al en­tit­ies in the do­mest­ic for­eign ex­change mar­ket: from 1 April 2022*, such en­tit­ies can­not pur­chase for­eign cur­rency.Any trans­ac­tions in ex­cess of such lim­its must be ap­proved by the Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion for the Con­trol over For­eign In­vest­ments in the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion (the “Com­mis­sion”).Ad­di­tion­ally, un­til 31 Decem­ber 2022*, res­id­ents will have to ob­tain per­mis­sions from the CBR to pay for a share, con­tri­bu­tion, or unit in the as­sets of a non-res­id­ent leg­al en­tity or a con­tri­bu­tion to a non-res­id­ent un­der a simple part­ner­ship agree­ment with in­vest­ments in the form of cap­it­al con­tri­bu­tions (a joint ven­ture agree­ment).The CBR may also al­low* res­id­ents to sell for­eign cur­rency pro­ceeds with­in more than three busi­ness days or not to sell for­eign cur­rency pro­ceeds that will be ap­plied for the dis­charge of ob­lig­a­tions in for­eign cur­rency un­der fa­cil­ity agree­ments with Rus­si­an banks (it is also pos­sible to sell less than 80% of the total amount of for­eign cur­rency pro­ceeds on the basis of the Com­mis­sion’s per­mis­sion).Dis­charge of ob­lig­a­tions un­der bank ac­count (de­pos­it) agree­ments entered in­to with cer­tain bank­sUntil 1 Septem­ber 2022, ob­lig­a­tions in for­eign cur­rency un­der bank ac­count (de­pos­it) agree­ments entered in­to by res­id­ent leg­al en­tit­ies with cred­it in­sti­tu­tions in re­spect of which re­strict­ive meas­ures have been in­tro­duced by the Un­friendly States after the oc­cur­rence of such ob­lig­a­tions are deemed duly per­formed if they are dis­charged in Roubles.Cla­ri­fic­a­tions of pre­vi­ous de­creesThe De­cree also con­tains some cla­ri­fic­a­tions on the ap­plic­a­tion of De­crees 79* and 81*.The De­cree per­mits cred­it­ing for­eign cur­rency to ac­counts or de­pos­its of of­fi­cial rep­res­ent­at­ive of­fices of the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion, rep­res­ent­at­ive of­fices of fed­er­al ex­ec­ut­ive bod­ies, for­eign rep­res­ent­at­ive of­fices and branches of res­id­ent leg­al en­tit­ies, and their em­ploy­ees that are opened with for­eign banks and fin­an­cial in­sti­tu­tions without ob­tain­ing the Com­mis­sion’s per­mis­sion, which is re­quired un­der De­crees 79 and 81 for cred­it­ing by res­id­ents of for­eign cur­rency to their ac­counts (de­pos­its) opened with for­eign banks and oth­er fin­an­cial or­gan­isa­tions.Also, the re­quire­ments of De­cree 79 on the sale of for­eign cur­rency pro­ceeds do not ap­ply to for­eign cur­rency cred­ited in con­nec­tion with im­ple­ment­ing pro­jects re­lated to the pro­duc­tion of li­que­fied nat­ur­al gas in the Rus­si­an Arc­tic to the ac­counts of or­gan­isa­tions that im­ple­ment such pro­jects.In ad­di­tion, not­with­stand­ing the re­quire­ments of De­cree 81, it is now pos­sible to grant loans and cred­its to res­id­ents who are con­trolled by per­sons from the Un­friendly States without ob­tain­ing the Com­mis­sion’s per­mis­sion.Ex­emp­tions for per­sons con­trolled by Rus­si­an be­ne­fi­ciar­ies­For the pur­poses of the De­cree, per­sons con­trolled by Rus­si­an be­ne­fi­ciar­ies (leg­al and nat­ur­al per­sons), in­clud­ing through for­eign per­sons, are not re­cog­nised as per­sons re­lated to the Un­friendly States, if in­form­a­tion on such con­trol is dis­closed to the Rus­si­an tax au­thor­it­ies.We will con­tin­ue to mon­it­or these de­vel­op­ments and keep you in­formed of any fur­ther changes.* In Rus­si­an
Bill in­tro­duced in Rus­si­an State Duma al­low­ing sus­pen­sion and ter­min­a­tion...
On 22 March 2022, Pavel Krashe­n­in­nikov, Head of the State-build­ing and Le­gis­la­tion Com­mit­tee of the Rus­si­an State Duma, sub­mit­ted a bill*, which makes it pos­sible to ter­min­ate and sus­pend ob­lig­a­tions due to sanc­tions im­posed on Rus­sia. The bill also es­tab­lishes the pos­sib­il­ity for parties to be re­leased from li­ab­il­ity for breach of con­tract.The fol­low­ing de­scribes this le­gis­lat­ive ini­ti­at­ive in more de­tail:Ter­min­a­tion of ob­lig­a­tion­sAc­cord­ing to the bill, an ob­lig­a­tion is ter­min­ated in full or in part if its per­form­ance “ob­ject­ively be­comes defin­it­ively im­possible” “in the con­text of ‘un­friendly’ ac­tions of for­eign states and in­ter­na­tion­al or­gan­isa­tions as­so­ci­ated with the im­pos­i­tion of re­strict­ive meas­ures” against Rus­si­an in­di­vidu­als and com­pan­ies (i.e. for­eign sanc­tions).Ex­emp­tion of li­ab­il­ity for breach of ob­lig­a­tion­sThe bill provides an ex­emp­tion from li­ab­il­ity for a breach of ob­lig­a­tion for a per­son who proves that prop­er per­form­ance has “ob­ject­ively proved to be tem­por­ar­ily im­possible” in the con­text of for­eign sanc­tions. In this case, the ob­lig­a­tions se­cur­ing the de­faul­ted trans­ac­tion are also un­en­force­able un­less the parties agree oth­er­wise after the bill comes in­to force.Ter­min­a­tion of con­tractThe bill in­tro­duces the right to uni­lat­er­ally ter­min­ate a con­tract if the oth­er party to the con­tract has not per­formed, or per­formed im­prop­erly, its ob­lig­a­tion be­cause such per­form­ance is tem­por­ar­ily im­possible in the con­text of sanc­tions. The party au­thor­ised to do so must give a ter­min­a­tion no­tice to the oth­er party with­in a reas­on­able time. The col­lat­er­al se­cur­ing the ob­lig­a­tions of the parties, which shall sur­vive the uni­lat­er­al ter­min­a­tion of the con­tract or are con­nec­ted with the ter­min­a­tion, shall con­tin­ue to ex­ist, un­less oth­er­wise provided for by law or the con­tract.Se­cur­ity de­positThe bill sub­stan­tially mod­i­fies the treat­ment of se­cur­ity pay­ments.  Un­der this draft law, after 23 Feb­ru­ary 2022, the parties may enter in­to an agree­ment for a se­cur­ity pay­ment to se­cure oth­er ob­lig­a­tions. The pay­ment could con­sist of the de­pos­it of shares, bonds, oth­er se­cur­it­ies or gen­er­ic items.Re­pay­ment by Rus­si­an joint-stock com­pan­ies of loans is­sued by their for­eign con­trolling per­son­sThe bill en­titles Rus­si­an joint-stock com­pan­ies, in­stead of re­pay­ing a loan to lenders who are for­eign con­trolling per­sons of such com­pan­ies, to place ad­di­tion­al shares of a cer­tain cat­egory or type in fa­vour of such lenders. At the same time, joint-stock com­pan­ies are al­lowed to is­sue pref­er­en­tial shares whose nom­in­al value may ex­ceed 25% of the share cap­it­al.The bill does not re­quire proof of a caus­al link between the im­pos­i­tion of sanc­tions and the de­cision to place ad­di­tion­al shares in fa­vour of a lender in­stead of re­pay­ing the loan and pay­ing in­terest on it.Pro­tec­tion not for al­lAc­cord­ing to the bill, the above sup­port meas­ures do not ap­ply to per­sons who “con­trib­uted to the ‘un­friendly’ ac­tions of for­eign states and in­ter­na­tion­al or­gan­isa­tions re­lated to the im­pos­i­tion of re­strict­ive meas­ures” against Rus­si­an in­di­vidu­als and or­gan­isa­tions. The bill does not cla­ri­fy ex­actly what is meant by “con­trib­ut­ing”.Let­ter from the Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dustry of the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion­In con­nec­tion with the bill, the Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dustry of the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion has sus­pen­ded its re­view of ap­plic­a­tions for the is­su­ance of find­ings of force ma­jeure un­der con­tracts that were con­cluded with­in the frame­work of do­mest­ic eco­nom­ic activ­ity in con­nec­tion with sanc­tions on for­eign com­pon­ents and equip­ment (Let­ter No. PR/0181* of the Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dustry of the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion dated 22 March 2022).* In Rus­si­an
The Mo­scow of­fice of CMS to con­tin­ue as an in­de­pend­ent law firm
Dear FriendsWe have been through a lot dur­ing 30 years in Rus­sia. Now a dif­fi­cult de­cision has been taken by CMS to leave the Rus­si­an mar­ket. We are grate­ful to our in­ter­na­tion­al col­leagues for their...
Leg­al de­vel­op­ments that may af­fect your busi­ness in 2022
CMS Rus­sia ex­perts have pre­pared their an­nu­al se­lec­tion of the most sig­ni­fic­ant leg­al de­vel­op­ments that may af­fect your busi­ness in Rus­sia in 2022.
Do­ing busi­ness in Rus­sia
This is the new edi­tion of the CMS Do­ing busi­ness in Rus­sia guide. 
The Se­cur­it­ies Lit­ig­a­tion Re­view 2021
Read the Rus­si­an Chapter of the The Se­cur­it­ies Lit­ig­a­tion Re­view 2021, pre­pared by Sergey Yuryev, CMS Rus­sia Part­ner and Head of Dis­pute Res­ol­u­tion prac­tice.
CMS ad­vises PJSC URALKALI on its de­but $1.25bn sus­tain­ab­il­ity-linked pre-ex­port...
CMS has ad­vised PJSC Uralkali on its de­but $1.25bn sus­tain­ab­il­ity-linked pre-ex­port fin­ance fa­cil­ity ar­ranged by, among oth­ers, COM­MERZBANK CRÉDIT AG­RI­COLE COR­POR­ATE & IN­VEST­MENT BANK, ING BANK, SO­CI­ETE...
CMS Rus­sia earns a re­cord num­ber of re­cog­ni­tions by Best Law­yers 2022
Strong re­cog­ni­tion by the rank­ing 32 CMS Rus­sia ex­perts have been se­lec­ted for in­clu­sion in­to the 2022 edi­tion of the Best Law­yers rank­ing. In total, we have earned 74 re­cog­ni­tions by the rank­ing :Ant­on...
Cur­rency con­trol
In this chapter of Do­ing busi­ness in Rus­sia, we out­line the reg­u­la­tion of for­eign cur­rency trans­ac­tions and the sanc­tions for breach of cur­rency con­trol rules.
CMS Rus­sia in The Leg­al 500 EMEA 2021
The 2021 edi­tion of The Leg­al 500 EMEA re­cog­nises CMS Rus­sia across 10 prac­tice areas and hon­ours 10 firm ex­perts CMS Rus­sia has been ranked this year in the fol­low­ing 10 cat­egor­ies:Bank­ing & Fin­ance:...