Economy, Business And Markets

Singapore Officials Briefed on Enhanced Banking Procedures

The CBI chief and his entourage also called on the head of the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) to introduce Iran’s banking system and create and develop correspondent banking relations
Singapore Officials Briefed on Enhanced Banking ProceduresSingapore Officials Briefed on Enhanced Banking Procedures

Singapore and Iran have agreed to expand banking ties following the lifting of economic sanctions. This was decided in a meeting between the heads of two countries' central banks.

"The Central Bank of Iran is willing to support banks in Iran and Singapore in order to start two-way collaboration," the CBI official website quoted central bank governor, Valiollah Seif, as saying.

Seif, who had travelled to Singapore at the head of a delegation, met with his counterpart Ravi Menon, managing director of Monetary Authority of Singapore, the country's central bank.

"To employ banking services and to execute business deals between the two countries, Iranian and Singaporean businesses need a variety of services including letters of credit and bank guarantees to avoid potential risks in their business activities," he said.

After being briefed on Iran's ongoing negotiations with other countries to reestablish correspondent banking relations, Menon asked for further talks and meetings between the banking sectors in both countries to "clear ambiguities and expand banking ties".

The senior Singaporean official said his country will only implement resolutions passed by the United Nations. "Other sanctions such as those decreed by the American Office of Foreign Assets Control are not notable and this has been communicated to Singapore's banking system," he was quoted as saying..

Seif noted that efforts undertaken in Iran to conform to international standards are important and worthy of attention, saying Iran's banking system has been hard at work to make its financial statements more transparent by implementing laws passed by the Majlis on combating money laundering and financing of terrorism. "In this regard, the central bank has helped in executing legislation" from the Iranian Parliament.

He termed the efforts of Iranian banks in complying with international norms s "progressive" and "updated".

As international banks are not familiar with the current conditions and operating procedures of Iranian banks, he said, "there are always concerns that this could cause problems in collaboration with Iran's banking sector. But these concerns can be addressed through constructive engagement between the two countries."

Ties with ABS

The CBI chief and his entourage also called on the head of the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) to introduce Iran's banking system and create and develop correspondent banking relations.

According to its website, ABS is governed by a council comprising 18 members drawn from the senior managerial ranks of the three local banks and 15 foreign banks. The body is chaired by a local bank (DBS Bank, OCBC Bank or UOB), with the chairmanship rotated every two years.

During the meeting which was attended by top-tier officials of UOB, BTMU, ICBC and DBS, Seif presented a report on the changes that have taken place since the lifting of the international sanctions in January. "The potential for economic collaboration between Iran and Singapore should be fulfilled and expansion of  banking systems as a result a expanding trade links is a prerequisite to achieving that goal."

The head of the Money and Credit Council pointed to the United Arab Emirates, which has shaped its economy based on a policy to re-export its commodities and services in the region. He proposed that with the goal of generating added value in the economy, Singapore can become more active in this area.

A Singaporean banking delegation from DBS had earlier visited Iran to open accounts for the central bank and Iran's banking system in order to expand banking ties and ease business relations between the two nations.

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