European Banks Eye Return to Iran after Sanctions Relief

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A number of European banks have signaled their intention to initiate their activities in Iran’s financial market following a lasting nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

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Belgium’s KBC, Germany’s DZ Bank and Austria’s Erste Bank on Sunday unveiled their plan to start their business activities in the Islamic Republic, the Financial Times reported.

KBC, Belgium’s biggest bank, said it had “decided to support its well-established customers in its home markets” of Belgium, the Czech Republic and Slovakia “in their genuine trade with Iran, respecting all EU and US sanctions”.

Also, DZ bank announced that it is working on a plan to do trade in euro with Iran via the country’s correspondent banks.

Additionally, the Austrian bank of Erste said, “We have started on-boarding Iranian banks in terms of trade finance co-operation, according to standard procedures. Going forward we might also seek to build correspondent banking relationships.”

The move by the banks come as 26 Iranian banks are reconnected to SWIFT now that anti-Tehran sanctions are lifted off.

SWIFT – the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication – is used by nearly every bank around the world to send payment messages that lead to the transfer of money across international borders. It provides a wide range of service including transmitting letters of credit, payments and securities transactions among 9,700 banks in 209 countries.
 
All nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran were lifted after Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) reached a nuclear deal on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16.

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