Tuesday, 26 April 2016
Banks wary of running afoul of ongoing US sanctions related to terrorism
Ireland’s two main banks still refuse to facilitate financial transactions with Iran – the Middle East’s second largest economy – despite the lifting of EU and UN sanctions more than three months ago.
As representatives of Bord Bia, the Department of Agriculture and 17 Irish food companies take part in a trade mission to Iran this week, AIB and Bank of Ireland confirmed that their restrictions on processing Iranian money remain in place.
The restrictions could see Ireland lose ground to European rivals in the race to secure trade with Iran.
While international sanctions imposed over Tehran’s nuclear activities were lifted in January, US sanctions relating to terrorism and human rights are still in force.
As a result, many European banks remain wary of handling financial transactions that originate in Iran, fearing they may still fall foul of the existing measures.
Bank of Ireland said that while certain sanction restrictions in relation to Iran had been lifted, ongoing requirements and regulations remain, including the continued application of US primary sanctions.