The House Financial Services Committee on March 17, 2022, unanimously advanced a bill seeking the exclusion of Russian officials from the Financial Stability Board (FSB), International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), and other international financial bodies. H.R. 6891, the Isolate Russian Government Officials Act of 2022, cleared the panel alongside four other measures designed to increase economic pressure on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
“Taking part in these groups’ proceedings should be out of the question for a country that has now ended decades of peace in Europe and threatened financial stability globally,” Rep. Ann Wagner, a Missouri Republican and the bill’s sponsor, said prior to the vote. “As we know, the U.S. and our allies have levied punishing sanctions against the Putin regime, and these measures have imposed immense costs on Moscow. But, there must be diplomatic costs as well. And that means leaving Russian government officials on the outside, looking in.”
Wagner’s bill sets out that it is the policy of the United States to “exclude government officials of the Russian Federation, to the maximum extend practicable, from participation in meetings, proceedings, and other activities” of those groups, as well as the Group of 20 (G20), Bank for International Settlements, Basel Committee for Banking Standards, and International Association of Insurance Supervisors, according to the bill text. The bill instructs the SEC, Secretary of the Treasury, and Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve to take all necessary steps to advance that policy, which would run for five years following enactment, or 30 days after the president deems that Russia “has ceased its destabilizing activities with respect to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”
IOSCO is made up of securities regulators from around the globe. Today, Sergey Shvetsov, first deputy governor of the Bank of Russia, is listed as a board member. Shvetsov, along with Ksenia Yudaeva – also first deputy governor of the Bank of Russia – and Deputy Minister of Finance Alexey Moiseev, are members of the FSB, a panel that monitors and makes recommendations around international financial stability.
Russian officials have agreed to not participate in the FSB’s meetings, according to news reports.
The committee also voted to advance H.R. 7066, the Russia and Belarus Financial Sanctions Act, which would require U.S. financial institutions to take all “necessary and available” actions to ensure entities they control are in compliance with sanctions; H.R. 6899, the Russia and Belarus SDR Exchange Prohibition Act, seeking to cut Russia and Belarus off from converting International Monetary Fund (IMF) reserve assets known as Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) into currency; H.R. 7081, the Ukraine Comprehensive Debt Repayment Relief Act, directing U.S. officials to push for debt payments relief for Ukraine; and H.R. 7080, the Nowhere to Hide Oligarchs’ Assets Act, which would expand the geographic scope of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) Geographic Targeting Order (GTO) authority.
All of the bills passed the committee by voice vote, except for H.R. 7080, which passed on a vote of 26-23.
This article originally appeared in the March 21, 2022 edition of Accounting & Compliance Alert, available on Checkpoint.
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