Foreign financial institutions and other non-U.S. companies newly tasked with disclosing when their affiliates deal with Iranian government officials are finding the requirements onerous, according to compliance officers and consultants.
The government of Iran and banks under its influence are increasingly using investments in foreign financial institutions as a means to circumvent sanctions, including restrictions on interbank messages, say sources.
An American sanctions law passed in December is raising compliance concerns at banks involved in energy sector deals, despite U.S. waivers permitting related transactions, say attorneys and bank officials.
The U.S. Treasury Department Tuesday designated a Belarusian bank a primary money laundering concern under the Patriot Act for allegedly helping shell companies transact over a billion dollars in suspicious transactions.
The U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday overwhelmingly approved bills that would restrict loans and interbank transfers of credit involving entities that facilitate Iran's petroleum and weapons trade.
U.S. senators Monday approved a reconciled defense appropriations bill that would sanction Iran's central bank, making only a single nod to White House concerns that the bill would displease trade partners.
The U.K.'s latest economic sanctions against Iran will likely cost banks proceeds from dropped trade finance deals in addition to new compliance expenses, according to attorneys and officials at British financial institutions.
The Obama Administration Thursday voiced opposition to a Senate plan to bar any foreign bank that knowingly conducts transactions with the Central Bank of Iran from the U.S. financial system.
The U.S. Treasury Department will designate Iran a "primary money laundering concern" on Monday, according to published reports.
Proposed amendments to an Iran sanctions law that would require U.S. banks to certify whether their foreign counterparts do business with blacklisted Iranians would be a "huge" compliance burden if implemented, say top officials at the nation's largest financial trade group.
The U.S. Senate as soon as this week will consider a proposal to apply direct sanctions to the Central Bank of Iran after a House panel adopted a similar measure Wednesday.
A congressional committee Wednesday approved an amended measure that would sanction the Central Bank of Iran and require U.S. financial institutions to certify that their foreign counterparts have no ties to blacklisted Iranians.
An alleged plot by Iranian officials to assassinate Saudi Arabia's U.S. ambassador raised questions Thursday about whether Congress needs to strengthen a sanctions law and blacklist Iran's central bank.
The U.S. Treasury Department finalized regulations Wednesday requiring banks to ask their correspondent financial institutions about accounts tied to Iran when requested to do so by U.S. officials.
European banks are asking the U.S. Treasury Department to amend proposed regulations that would require them to conduct three-month look-backs within 30 days of a request by American officials.