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Right to receive customer deposits to be extended

In September 1999, Finland's Ministry of Finance appointed a working group to assess, among other things, the need to amend the legislation concerning the right to receive customer deposits. The working group presented its preliminary findings in an interim report published in April 2000.

At present, only deposit banks and savings associations are permitted to receive customer deposits. Under the working group's proposal, companies wishing to receive customer deposits (eg, through an e-cash system) would under the main rule be able to do so as long as they have obtained a licence. Customer funds deposited as a were provided by the receiving company, its group company or a company conducting its activities at the same location. Further, the working group proposes that certain restrictions be introduced on the maximum amount that a company which is not a licensed deposit bank may receive from a single customer.

To safeguard the stability of the financial system, it is proposed that the right to receive deposits for the purpose of providing financing should remain the sole right of licensed deposit banks. Also, the right to receive deposits falling within the scope of the legislation on deposit protection would only be available to deposit banks.

Dimitrios Himonas

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