SRO should enter the financial market in 2016

Currently, there are several definitions of the concept of «self-regulatory organization». The following one is among the most precise definitions:

Self-regulatory organization (SRO) is a non-profit organization that joins business entities based on the unity of production branch of goods, works and services or the market of produced goods and services, or that joins the subjects of professional activity of a certain kind.

The basic document, which regulates relations, arising in connection with the acquisition and termination of the status of self-regulatory organizations, the activity of SROs, cooperation between SROs and their members, consumers of goods, works and services produced by them, is the federal law №315-FZ "On self-regulatory organizations» dated 01.12.2007, in force as of 24.11.2014.

The functions of SROs include:

1) development and establishment of conditions for the membership in SRO;

2) disciplinary action; 

3) resolution of disputes between members;

4) analysis of the activity of its members;

5) representation of interests of members of SRO;

6) professional training;

7) insurance of transparency;

8) supervision of compliance with standards and rules of SRO;

9) examination of complaints;

10) maintenance of the register of members.

By 2015, the analysis of organizations and the situation in the financial market has shown the necessity of the establishment of SRO in it. In July 2015 the Federal Law №223-FZ «On self-regulatory organizations in field of the financial market and on amendments to Articles 2 and 6 of the Federal Law «On introducing amendments to certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation» has been adopted. The effect of this law extends to SROs, joining financial institutions engaged in certain types of activity (brokers, dealers, depositaries, insurance companies, microfinance institutions, pawnshops etc).

Currently, analysts assess positively the creation of SRO in the financial market. The following arguments are declared among others:

  • self-regulation is a convenient mechanism for cooperation between the Central Bank and market participants;
  • SRO may apply the standards, regulatory rules by direct participation of its members;
  • separation of the regulation between the Central Bank and SRO will help not limit creative developments of market participants etc.

Moreover, the developed standards and rules of SRO in the financial market may be more stringent, than by the mega-regulator. Participation in SRO can be also considered as a sign of quality for a customer.

Perhaps this is why the Central Bank considers the development of SRO in the financial market as a «mega-ambitious goal». The law will come into force since the 1st of January 2016. The Central Bank will regulate depending on the scope of financial institution and specific of its activity. However, SRO express readiness for oversight functions already today.

Advanced social-economic development territories

Information Agency Credinform has already addressed to the topic of special economic zones (SEZ) in Russia.

The term «advanced development territory» appeared in our economic dictionary in the early 90-ies of the last century, when the government approved the appropriate list of territories. The first law, regulating the foreign investment, was adopted in 1991. Pursuant to the law, it was assumed the following: visa-free regime, simplified procedure of registration of foreign businessmen, lower tax and customs duty rates, favorable long-term rent. Starting from 1996, SEZ began to be created, in particular, in Kaliningrad and Magadan Regions, Saint-Petersburg, within Baikal–Amur Mainline. Among 17 created zones only 6 became relatively successful. According to experts, adopted programs were not implemented and accomplished in full. However, despite the modest results, SEZ continued to evolve due to relative flexibility of fund raising tools. 

Next step was the entry into force on January 5, 2012 of the Federal Law № 392-FZ of December 3, 2011 "On the zones of territorial development in the Russian Federation and on modification of separate legal acts of the Russian Federation". Pursuant to the law, the term «territorial development zones» (TDZ) as a part of the subject of the Russian Federation was introduced; such zone assumes favorable environment for investors. In particular, the Government support was offered to investors and specially created administrations were responsible for the TDZ control. Now TDZ are active in 20 regions of the country.

The «favorable» regime concept of investment and business activity was further developed by entry into force on March 30, 2015 of the Federal Law № 473-FZ «On advanced social-economic development territories in the Russian Federation» adopted on December 29, 2014.

In contrast to SEZ and TDZ, except the development of regional economic sectors and attraction of major investment advanced social-economic development territories (ADT) are focused on the creation of favorable environment for the population. ADTs are formed for specific large investors under conditions of preliminary agreements with the authorized Federal body. The agreements must include the definition of the planned economic activities, the volumes of investment and the estimated number of working places. The period of ADT’s activity is 70 years with possible extension, 49 years for SEZ and 12 years for TDZ.

The formation of ADT is possible by the request of any subject of the Russian Federation, in contrast to TDZ, where the list of regions is approved by the Government of the Russian Federation. In ADTs it is allowed to develop the deposits of useful minerals and manufacture of excisable goods. Such activities are completely or partially forbidden in SEZ and TDZ.

During the first three years, ADTs will be formed only in the Far Eastern Federal district and on the territory of the mono-cities with the most difficult social-economic situation according to the list of the Government of the Russian Federation. Later the formation will be started in other regions.

Both individuals and legal entities can be the ADTs’ residents.The residents are provided with customs benefits, special tax treatment and simplified procedure of business dealing. For example, zero or not exceeding 5% profit tax rate, exemption from estate tax within first five years. There is also a possibility of expeditiously involvement of qualified foreign staff (without special permission and quotas).

 The number and duration of the inspections of resident activity are restricted by the order of the Government of the Russian Federation from October 22, 2015 of No. 1132 «About the joint scheduled inspections, which are carried out concerning residents of the advanced social-economic development territories by bodies, authorized on implementation of the state control (supervision), municipal control».

Management companies, which are approved by the Government of the Russian Federation, will be responsible for the development of necessary infrastructure and providing residents with tax, legal and other services on each territory. Only joint stock company (or its subsidiary) with 100% State participation can be the management company. JSC Corporation of the development of the Far East was approved as a management company of all ADTs in the Far Eastern Federal district. Special subcommittee of the Government Commission on social and economic development of the Far East and Baikal region is responsible for selection of territories and consideration of investment projects.

The Government of the Russian Federation has already approved the establishment of nine ADTs, including Kamchatka Region, Primorsk and Khabarovsk Territory, Amur Region, Yakutia and Chukotka.

According to experts, if «one state – two systems» concept will be created in Russia (similar to the system, operating in Hong Kong), the formation and full development of ADTs can become a reality. Then, our Far East will transform to fundamentally different territory (in contrast to other regions of the country) with special administrative and tax indicators.