Russia has granted a banking licence to Bank 131, a digital lender founded by Dmitry Eremeev.

This is the first time in four years that the country granted a banking licence.

Eremeev welcomes the move particularly considering the policy of “aggressive ‘industry cleansing’ adopted by the country in the recent times.

A large number of banks in Russia lost their licences owing to this policy.

The latest bank to join this group was ROSCOMSNABBANK.

According to Eremeev, the policy has nearly halved the country’s branch network.

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Eremeev noted: “However, any Russian working for a global internet company or buying from a global ecommerce company badly needs compliant and quality fintech products, so our ambition is to provide them with just that.

“We hope our new bank will fill a niche that is not occupied by the traditional Russian banks that build their business models on retail crediting and offline business.”

The new bank would not utilise traditional business models.

Instead, it plans to provide fintech offerings that integrate the payment gateway and payout model.

Initial focus of the bank will be on local companies as well as entrepreneurs working for global internet or ecommerce firms that have a footprint in Russia.