Economy, Business And Markets

Bank Sepah Operations in Europe Restored

Bank Sepah Operations in Europe RestoredBank Sepah Operations in Europe Restored

Bank Sepah’s branch in Rome has obtained permit from the Bank of Italy for offering all banking services including issuing letters of credit, issuing guarantees in foreign exchange and transacting money, said a member of bank’s board of directors.

“The bank’s branches in Paris and Frankfurt are also fully restored,” Bank Sepah’s website quoted Mostafa Partoafkanan as saying on Tuesday.

“Sepah has handed a business plan to Bank of Italy. It has also implemented some structural changes in accordance with the European Union and Basel standards,” he said.

Increasing the bank’s capital by €50 million, hiring skilled workers and launching corresponding relations with a handful of Italian and European banks, are other measures taken by the bank after being removed from the sanctions list.  

Sepah’s operations in Europe were halted in 2007 due to the international sanctions. However, the bank’s Rome branch has now received permission to resume operations following the lifting of the punitive restrictions in January.

Bank Sepah is the only Iranian lender with a branch in Italy and accounted for a considerable part of two-way commerce in the past. The Bank of Italy took over control of the bank in March 2007 in compliance with a March 26 resolution of the UN Security Council, which called for a freeze on Bank Sepah, Iran’s fifth-largest state-owned bank.

In a meeting in April, Federal Financial Supervisory Authority of Germany (BaFin) hailed Bank Sepah’s recent moves to raise capital, improve its management and human resources, equip the Frankfurt office with advanced computer systems and reform its organizational structure in line with international norms.