Russian bank spending rules just the first step in managing diversification - Tinkoff CEO

MOSCOW, June 24 (Reuters) - A move to regulate banks’ spending on non-core activities is just the first stage of the Russian central bank’s efforts to manage corporate diversification across multiple sectors, the chief executive of online bank Tinkoff said on Thursday.

The central bank on Wednesday said banks would have to create additional buffers if investments in so-called ecosystem services - those that stretch beyond a bank’s core function - exceed 30% of their total capital.

Tinkoff, owned by TCS Group, offers a raft of financial and lifestyle services to its around 15 million customers, and Russia’s top lender Sberbank are the biggest ecosystem builders among domestic banks.

Regulation, which is yet to be fully developed and introduced, is a hot topic for both.

“They’re trying to make sure that the existing financial service providers don’t blow tonnes of capital on stuff that isn’t going to work,” Tinkoff CEO Oliver Hughes said.

Speaking on a panel of Russian business leaders discussing ecosystems, Hughes said the central bank was trying to regulate dominant players and establish a regulatory framework for newcomers to the market.

After the banking sector, regulations will target different institutions’ user data and the issue of competition, he said.

“It’s not just about banks making their data available to e-commerce players because that would be a little bit one-sided, so it’s going to be a reciprocal arrangement where certain levels of data are going to be available to everybody,” Hughes said.

Tinkoff could be set to partner with online retailer AliExpress Russia, a joint venture with China’s Alibaba and Russian partners, after its CEO Dmitry Sergeev said it had a meeting scheduled with Tinkoff next week and was ready to look at various partnerships.

“We are looking forward to breakfast with Dmitry and his colleagues,” said Hughes.

Sberbank, which already offers services from food delivery to cyber security solutions, plans to expand its logistics business across the world’s largest country, seeking to capitalise on the booming e-commerce market. (Editing by Katya Golubkova and Jan Harvey)