UK Removes Bank Saderat From Sanctions List
The UK Treasury Monday announced that it has removed Bank Saderat Iran and its London-based subsidiary Bank Saderat PLC from the blacklist of financial sanctions against Iran.
“Council Regulation (EU) 267/2012 imposing financial sanctions against Iran (nuclear proliferation) has been amended” the body announced in a press release on Monday adding that asset freeze no longer applies to the BSI and Bank Saderat PLC.
The move was in accord with the Council of European Union’s regulation published earlier on April, according to which financial sanctions were in force until 22 October. “As that date has now passed, Bank Saderat Iran and Bank Saderat PLC are no longer subject to the restrictive measures set out in the Regulation, including the asset freeze.”
Saderat has been subject to sanctions since 2010. The lender remained in the black list even after the lifting of the sanctions on January. BSI, Ansar Bank and Mehr Eqtesad Bank remain under the sanctions.
Back in January, Iran’s Foreign Ministry had announced that it was negotiating with foreign nations to end the sanctions imposed on Bank Saderat of Iran.
Since the lifting of the sanctions, Iranian banks have managed to resume operations in European capitals, including Melli Bank in London, Persia International Bank and Bank Sepah branches in Germany and Italy.
BSI’s presence in the UK goes back to 1963 when it launched a branch in London. The branch was merged with Iran Overseas Investment Bank PLC in 2002 to form Bank Saderat PLC.
As a subsidiary fully owned by the BSI, Bank Saderat PLC was subjected to the EU council’s 2010 sanctions. The sanctions, apart from freezing bank’s assets, prohibited conducting any financial transaction with the BSI subsidiary.
Saderat is one of the largest banks in the Middle East and has 28 international branches. The bank has branches and subsidiaries in London, Paris, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Athens. With nine branches in the UAE (three in Abu-Dhabi, six in Dubai) and branches or subsidiaries in Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, BSI could make a significant contribution in re-establishment of commercial relations of Iran with regional countries in the post-sanctions.
The lender handles 367,000 clients online with an average of 10 million transactions a month. The bank also has 440,500 points of sale, generating over 32 million transactions every month.
In recent months, some Iranian banks and their overseas branches have restarted operations in the wake of sanctions relief such as Bank Melli's affiliate in Russia known as Mir Business Bank, Melli Bank Plc and its branch in Hong Kong as well as three branches of Bank Mellat in Turkey and Armenia.
Since the removal of sanctions, some private banks like Pasargad, Parsian, Sina, Middle East and Saman have reportedly received permission to establish branches or corresponding offices across the EU.