The largest banks in Russia are excommunicated from the joint venture for the development of the EBS in the country. According to RBC sources, the reasons for the credit institutions were not named, they simply ceased to be invited to discuss the project. Previously, Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, Alfa-Bank, Tinkoff-Bank, etc. participated in it. In August 2021, Sberbank itself broke off cooperation with Rostelecom on the creation of a joint venture due to conditions that did not suit it.
EBS without banks
The government may exclude the largest banks from the joint venture for the development of the Unified Biometric System (UBS) in Russia. Earlier, Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, Alfa-Bank, Tinkoff-Bank, etc. took part in the discussion of the creation of the joint venture. Now only the Government, Rostelecom (the system operator) and the Central Bank will participate in the joint venture for the development of the EBS, RBC writes.
The decision on this composition has already been made, the formation of the enterprise may be completed by the summer of 2022. Its head may be a native of the Federal Tax Service, the source said.
According to a source of RBC in the banking market, no one named the reasons for the refusal of banks to participate in the project to credit institutions. “The Ministry of Digital Science and Rostelecom simply stopped inviting credit organizations to discuss the project,” he said. At the same time, two interlocutors of RBC linked the new composition of the joint venture participants with the fact that the Federal Security Service had questions about the previous formats of the joint venture.
A Rostelecom spokesman declined to comment. The representative of the Central Bank and large credit institutions did not answer RBC’s questions. VTB representatives said that the bank will act in accordance with the directions for the development of the biometric system approved by the Government and the Bank of Russia.
Sberbank left on its own
In April 2021, Sberbank and Rostelecom announced the creation of the Digital Identification Technologies JV for joint work on the development of the EBS. It was assumed that users of the Sberbank database would be added to the EBS register, while the common system would inherit the functionality of both systems, including services provided through government services.
Banks will not participate in the JV for the development of the EBS in Russia
But already in August it became known that Sberbank broke off cooperation with Rostelecom. According to a Kommersant source, the bank was not satisfied with the new conditions, where it lost its leading role in the joint venture. Initially, Rostelecom and Sberbank planned to have equal shares of 49% in the capital of the joint venture, while the state received another 2% directly. Later 49% of Sberbank was planned to be divided among several banks, sources of Kommersant said.
The creation of the Russian EBS for the remote identification of bank customers was launched in 2016 at the initiative of the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance. The system operator, as mentioned above, is Rostelecom. According to the order of the Ministry of Digital Science No. 624, services for remote identification through the EBS have also become available for non-credit financial institutions and companies from other sectors of the economy. From January 1, 2021, insurance companies joined the EBS along with banks. In the future, it is planned to connect companies from the field of telecom, retail, etc.
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In early 2018, CNews said that the EBS operator will sell biometric data of Russians to banks for 200 rubles. apiece, of which half will be received by the bank that has placed the user’s biometrics, and half will remain with Rostelecom.
In mid-February 2021, CNews announced plans to create a federal register with a list of government agencies, financial and other organizations, individual entrepreneurs and notaries using the EBS. It is planned to appoint Rostelecom as the operator. One application for biometrics in the EBS will cost a member of the register the same 200 rubles.
In early March 2021, CNews said that the authorities are considering various options to stimulate the collection of biometric data from citizens, with plans to collect biometrics from 70 million Russians in the next two years, that is, to almost equalize their number with the number of confirmed profiles on the public services portal.
In early August 2021, CNews spoke about the criticism of the new rules for working with biometric data of Russians by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), which, according to representatives of the RSPP, may lead to a lag in the development of biometrics in Russia, and also lead to discrimination of the largest Russian IT companies.
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In accordance with Federal Law No. 482-FZ, all banks must register citizens in the EBS, if they have received a corresponding request. As of February 2021, about 164 thousand Russians were registered in the system.