Economy, Business And Markets

Banks Urged to Promote Transparency

Banks Urged to Promote Transparency
Banks Urged to Promote Transparency

President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday urged commercial banks to promote transparency in transactions, asking them to make the environment safe for “legal business” and unsafe for “shady practices.”

Rouhani, who was addressing a Cabinet Meeting, said the banking system must become “inimical to money laundering.”

He added that Iran is serious in its fight against money laundering and that the government has made it a priority to use all resources available to combat the phenomenon.

The president hailed the efforts of Ali Tayyebnia, the minister of economy, for his endeavors in the fight against money laundering.

“Dirty money, which is obtained from activities such as illicit drug trade, smuggling, bribery and rent-seeking, has ruinous effects on the economy,” Rouhani stated. He expressed hope that with government policies striving for more transparency, loopholes that encourage such activities would be eliminated.

His remarks echoed warnings by other officials that “dirty money” could find its way into political campaigns.

Tayyebnia made an announcement last week that Iran had signed six anti-money laundering pacts with other countries to boost experience and knowledge-sharing. He also announced Iran’s request to become a member of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, an organization which provides a forum for FIUs around the world to improve cooperation in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

 Call for Cooperation

President Rouhani, who also heads the Supreme Economic Council, called for coordinated efforts between the government and the judiciary to effectively crack down on money laundering.

He also urged the parliament to pass the anti-money laundering law, which has been pending a second approval after the Guardians Council found faults with the first version of the bill.

Rouhani asked citizens to exercise caution in their financial transactions and not let their personal information be compromised by hackers and con artists. The president called for enhancement of information exchange between different organizations to prevent scams.

“Unfortunately, sanctions imposed on the banking system gave rise to informal trading, which in cases became an excuse for money laundering,” he said, referring to the western sanctions that barred international banks from working with Iranian banks.

During the meeting, a report on the latest status of money laundering and the global initiative to confront the crime was discussed. The report concluded by mentioning notable money laundering court cases being debated and new anti-money laundering strategies.