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Russian banks join forces for fintech lab and accelerator

According to latest reports, four Russia-based banks are teaming up for a fintech lab and accelerator to foster the development of new banking products and services.

Finextra reported that the banks – Ak Bars, VTB 24, Bank Saint Petersburg, and Home Credit Bank – are collaborating with MasterCard and Accenture for the initiative which aims to engage with local startups. The Fintech Lab is possibly the first such collaborative accelerator programme in the fintech landscape in Russia.

MasterCard is expected to be seen in the role of a corporate sponsor, while Accenture will bring its experience and expertise in similar accelerator programs in Hong Kong, New York and London.

In addition, representatives of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR), Ministry of Communications and major universities have also been requested to join the board of the Fintech Lab. In December 2016, The Russian central bank announced that its representatives, along with financial market participants, approved the decision to set up an Association for Financial Technologies Development. VTB is one of the founding members of the Association.

The first cohort to pass through the 12-week accelerator is expected to be comprising of ten startups. Applications will open in March.

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