ANZ Banking Group Refuses Trade with Iran Fearing US Backlash
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) refuses Australian customers’ transactions with Iran, fearing US Treasury’s reaction, a report said.
"While there has been a lifting of some sanctions to Iran by Australian authorities, as an international bank we continue to comply with the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) which bans transactions to and from Iran," the ANZ bank said in a statement on Wednesday, ABC reported.
It came after Sydney-based exporter and importer Christopher Cox took his business to the ANZ because of its far-reaching international branch network, compared with other local banks.
But ANZ said it would not provide the channel needed to send and receive between Australia and Iran, leaving Cox extremely frustrated, as all the other necessary financial and business infrastructures to do business abroad are in place.
In response, Cox said, "Can you force a bank to do business? I really don't know, but it is costing the Australian Government money."
Experts believe that Australia could be losing billions of dollars a year in trade with Iran thanks to ties that at least one domestic bank has to the United States.
This is while Australia lifted some of its anti-Tehran sanctions following a lasting nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on Wednesday.
Under the new changes, Australian businesses will not have to seek prior approval for transactions above AU$20,000 when they deal with Iranian enterprises.
Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) on July 14, 2015 reached an agreement on Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program and started implementing it on January 16.
The agreement terminated all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran.