With the issuance Thursday of broad economic sanctions against Syria, banks in the United States are collaborating on a list of accounts and clients tied to the Middle Eastern government. In an executive order, the Obama administration barred the Syrian government from accessing the U.S. financial system, and ordered financial institutions to freeze the assets of any state-owned Syrian entities. The sanctions coincide with open calls by President Barack Obama for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down following months of violence against political protestors. The sanctions are "extremely broad" and prohibit U.S. banks from providing "any financial services of...
U.S. officials Thursday blacklisted four Damascus banks and eight other entities under a series of executive orders targeting Syrian human rights violators and others tied to the Bashar al-Assad government.
After a busy year for federal sanctions officials, large banks with international footprints are increasingly instituting deeper, standalone audits of their related policies and procedures, say compliance officers and consultants.
As international pressure against Syria's crackdown on protesters mounts, efforts by financial institutions to identify transactions related to Syrian arms deals will likely prove fruitless, say analysts.