MOSCOW, January 21. /TASS/. Russian citizens have invested about 600 billion rubles ($8.1 bln) in complex financial products with a non-transparent structure, First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia Sergei Shvetsov told reporters.

The influx of almost 4 million new investors – individuals on the stock market in 2020 turned out to be somewhat unexpected for the regulator and was associated with the growth of substitutes for investment life insurance (ILI). The official stressed that even for people with special education it is difficult to determine the price and profitability of such products.

“These two trends – the emergence of a large number of individuals with absolutely no experience and knowledge, and the emergence of a wide range of products with a murky structure (we are now assessing a portfolio of such products in the hands of citizens at about 600 billion [rubles],), created concerns <…> about the expectations of citizens who have purchased such products and how they correspond to reality, “Shvetsov explained.

Earlier, the Bank of Russia prepared a bill amending the requirements for offering financial instruments and services to ordinary investors. According to the document, professional stock market participants will not be allowed to offer structured bonds, bonds with a non-guaranteed coupon, as well as shares or derivative financial instruments to unqualified investors, if transactions are not concluded at an organized trading site.

Federal Law No. 306 (On Amendments to the Federal Law on Securities Market and Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation) provides for the introduction of testing for citizens wishing to conduct operations on the stock market, but who are not qualified investors.

The law provides for a testing procedure for unqualified investors before they start working with a financial instrument. He explained that the test will assess how well a retail investor understands what instrument they are going to purchase. The test will consist of two parts: the first will include questions about the investor’s experience with the purchased instrument, the second will include questions on understanding the instrument itself. It is planned that the test will take about 10-15 minutes.

Earlier this month, Anatoly Aksakov, head of the State Duma’s financial market committee told TASS, that the Russian government may adopt the law on testing for unqualified investors who intend to buy complex financial instruments already in February.

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