On July 8, 2011, President Medvedev took the latest step towards turning Moscow into an International Financial Center by naming the members of a new specially-designated task force. Notably absent from this group of experts were members of the Russian private sector and self-regulatory organizations.
It’s quite possible that this is just part of the plan, and that the recently-named officials are just one side of the equation. Perhaps in the future, leading figures from the world of banking and finance will be brought in to help. But for the time being, the private sector is only allowed to participate on an informal basis. Valeriy Tarasov, External Communications Director at Alpari, asked to comment on the situation, said, “Actually, work is already underway in the form of special project groups operating as subgroups of Medvedev’s task force. These groups currently serve as a forum for dialogue between the leaders of the private sector and the authorities. This is where business can be discussed and proposals can be approved so we can get started on developing a financial infrastructure and improving communication with legislators. For us, as part of a newer sector of the Russian financial markets, which isn’t even recognized legally, this is extremely important. We will continue to move ahead on whatever basis we can, so at least we can get some benefit out of this.”
Alpari was one of the key players in the founding of CRFIN, a regulatory group formed by some of the biggest names in the Russian Forex market. The main goal of CRFIN is to develop a regulatory system for the currency market in Russia, which involves working out a set of standards and practices for the industry. Improving the transparency of the Forex market and introducing new rules and regulations will not only help protect the rights of investors, but also bring Forex brokers, who are currently forced to base their operations overseas, back to Russia, increasing the capitalization of the country’s financial sector. This is something that should be of interest to everyone involved: government, business and private investors. The first steps towards achieving these objectives have already been taken. Now it’s time for Russian authorities to step up and respond.