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20 july 2023

Banking Code has been amended

On July 17, 2023, the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On Amendments to Laws on Banking Issues” that introduces comprehensive changes to the Banking Code was signed.

Some novelties:

  • expanding the supervisory powers of the National Bank: the possibility of applying measures of economic impact, in particular, the collection of funds in the amount of up to one percent of the bank's regulatory capital;
  • qualification requirements and requirements for the business reputation of bank officials are regulatedat the level of the Banking Code;
  • state registration of banks is further regulated;
  • the general conditions for seizing and foreclosing funds held in banks are extended to electronic money held in electronic wallets, the general conditions for suspending operations on accounts are extended to electronic wallets;
  • prohibitions and restrictions have been established on the inclusion of certain provisions in loan agreements: a ban on establishing conditions for the payment of increased (default) interest; the cases when the bank has the right to claim mandatory prepayment of the loan are limited; the term for prepayment of the loan is determined - not earlier than three months from the date of notification of the individual; the fines (penalties) are limited. These prohibitions and restrictions do not apply to lending with the attraction of funds, including from foreign banks, foreign and international financial institution with a special purpose (for on-lending); consortial, syndicated lending with the participation of foreign banks, foreign and international financial institutions; linked to external sovereign loans and external sovereign-guaranteed loans;
  • operations of bank trade financing are determined; amendments are made to the regulation of bank guarantees and letters of credit;
  • the concept of a money transfer is introduced and the procedure for regulating money transfers is determined.

The new provisions of the Banking Code shall enter into force in full from January 1, 2025, for some provisions an earlier entry into force is provided, from January 1, 2024 or from the date of publication.