Iranian banks improving foreign relations in post-sanction era

IRNA – Vice Governor of Bank Meli Iran for Foreign Exchange Affairs emphasized the fact that Iranian banks are reinforcing international ties in the post-sanctions era, adding that technical, trade and political obstacles still exist.

Gholamreza Panahi told IRNA on Saturday that many Iranian banks have resumed brokerage ties with foreign banks and they perform various affairs like opening letters of credit (LC) and bank drafts.

Regarding the reason for which big world banks haven’t established relations with Iranian banks yet, he said that having cooperation with big banks and firms is important in financing projects, but many banks can be used for brokerage ties

He expounded on the obstacles on the way of having relations with foreign banks, saying it is obvious that firms should identify each other which could be achieved through compilation of financial statements in conformity with international standards.

‘Due to being far away from international banking system for 10 years, Iranian banking standards have not become updated,’ he said.

Panahi referred to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) and international conventions in fighting corruption, money laundering and terrorism financing as international regulations necessary for establishing international ties.

‘Suspending obstacles on Iran which happened in the wake of approving laws on fighting money laundering and financing terrorism has been effective in improving international relations,’ he added.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) issued a statement on June 24, 2016, suspending Iran in the blacklist of its uncooperative countries.

This came as the result of numerous actions taken by the Iranian government, parliament and judiciary in the past few years like adopting laws against financing terrorism and other actions which legally bounded Iran to take action to eliminate shortcomings of the body’s existing anti-money laundering policies and its decision to seek assistance with implementation.

‘Iran has also established brokerage ties with some 25 banks and started 100 SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) relations,’ Panahi said.