Bank Saderat Iran Officially Resuming Paris Business
Banque de France, the central bank of France, has reportedly removed all and any remaining restrictions on the Paris branch of Bank Saderat Iran, meaning that the branch is now able to provide full banking services to its customers in the European capital.
"Following ongoing and effective diplomatic, legal and banking measures taken by the Bank Saderat officials in the aftermath of the implementation of the nuclear accord, the central bank of France has officially announced the complete lifting of restrictions put in place as a result of sanctions in a letter to the Paris branch of the bank," Bank Saderat said in a statement published on its website.
"Accordingly, the Paris branch of the bank is authorized to engage in all activities and offer all banking services from March 31."
The privatized Bank Saderat, with 2,700 branches inside the country and 27 foreign branches, has one of the widest networks of all Iranian lenders both inside and outside the country.
The statement notes that the European Union had previously officially announced that Bank Saderat and its London PLC branch have been removed from the list of sanctioned entities. It adds that the termination of sanctions "on the assets of the most internationally-active bank of the country " and the subsequent removal of sanctions pertaining to its Paris branch will not only be a positive thing for all beneficiaries, but will also prove useful for the Iranian economy.
In late October, the UK Treasury announced in a press release that it has amended its Council Regulation (ET) 267/2012, adding that asset freeze no longer applies to BSI and Bank Saderat PLC.
BSI’s presence in the UK dates 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.
Saderat was subject to sanctions since 2010 and remained on the black list even after the lifting of sanctions in Jan. 2016.
Bank Melli Iran and Tejarat Bank are other Iranian lenders with branches in Paris. The chief executive of the former had said in early February that its French branch has started offering services to French traders "to help boost Iran-France commercial ties in the post-sanctions era".
A New Lease on Life
According to its website, Bank Saderat has 27 branches outside Iran, accounting for half the total presence of Iranian banks on the global scene.
Considering that expanding these branches is a constant priority, they will benefit the national economy by "easing and accelerating international trade, reducing costs of foreign-exchange dealings, increasing investments, boosting the share value of banks, providing a variety of forex services and increasing profitability".
Furthermore, the removal of sanctions from the bank and its linkup with the inter-bank messaging network SWIFT can add to its credit and ability to facilitate international deals and "make its macroeconomic role more effective".
Bank Saderat also pledged in its statement that it will continue to strive to clear any other international hurdles facing it and employ all potential economic opportunities through full cooperation with the Central Bank of Iran and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance.
Tehran is hoping for a swift reintegration into global trade after its nuclear deal in 2015 led to the lifting of international sanctions. Its failure to persuade western banks to accept its business has been one of the main choke points preventing its rehabilitation.