MOSCOW, July 24 (RAPSI) – A bill prohibiting microfinance companies from providing home equity credits has passed its third and final reading in the lower house of Russian parliament.

Sponsors of the bill are a group of lawmakers headed by the State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin, and senators led by the Federation Council Chair Valentina Matviyenko. Amendments have been proposed to the laws Concerning Microfinance Activities and Microfinance Organizations and Concerning the Counteraction of the Laundering of the Proceeds of Crime and the Financing of Terrorism.

The bill bans lending money on housing by microfinanciers and increases the amount of own funds of such organizations from 10,000 to 5 million rubles (about $80,000).

The draft law also sets rules of client identification and extends regulatory functions of the Central Bank of Russia in relation to microlenders.