The House Committee on Foreign Affairs Thursday unanimously approved a measure that would penalize foreign banks that offer financial services to Hezbollah, an Iran-backed, Lebanon-based Shiite militant group.
U.S. officials Tuesday charged a blacklisted Chinese national with using shell companies to maintain accounts at American banks and offered five million dollars for information on his whereabouts.
The financial clearing subsidiary of Deutsche Börse AG will pay the U.S. Treasury Department's sanctions enforcer $152 million for holding money in New York-based accounts on behalf of Iran's central bank.
As early as Monday, banks will be able to do what has become seemingly unthinkable in the sanctions compliance field during recent years: ramp up their ties to Iran.
The chairman of a Senate committee vowed Thursday to block additional sanctions against Iran in an effort to protect last month's multilateral accord to suspend portions of the country's nuclear program.
Western financial institutions won't radically amend their sanctions controls in response to an agreement to limit Iran's nuclear program in exchange for a relaxation of banking restrictions, say former officials.
Despite tightened controls on interbank messaging, some bankers looking to hide the role of their blacklisted clients in international wires need only type a single key on their keyboard, according to experts.
It's not a new message, but the world's governments are counting on the private sector to make sanctions against Iran (and other countries) work.
A U.S. official's threat last month of economic sanctions against four Chinese banks is likely to be toothless given economic and enforcement hurdles, say sanctions analysts.
Anti-money laundering professionals who have to cope with a lack of resources aren't alone. The United Nations' anti-money laundering efforts are global in reach but also suffer from limited funding, according to Delphine Schantz, the anti-money laundering advisor at the United Nations' GPML.
Additional banking and trade restrictions that target the finance and supply of Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs were passed by the U.N. Security Council Wednesday.
Compliance officers at some of the world's largest financial institutions are concluding they need to create sanctions-specific programs to avoid regulatory penalties and tarnished reputations, according to a Deloitte survey released Monday.
The U.S. Senate banking committee approved a bill that would ratchet up economic pressure on Iran and increase the budgets of two government agencies that enforce sanctions and counter-terrorist financing regulations.
The U.K. and the European Union will freeze the assets of Iran's largest bank, Bank Melli, over Iran's alleged plans to build a nuclear weapons program, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said today during a joint press conference with President George Bush.
The bank, which is based in London, expects to reach a "resolution" with the U.S. Justice Department, U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control and New York District Attorneys office, Lloyd's said in a statement Friday.
The U.N. Security Council voted a third round of sanctions against Iran over its alleged ambitions to develop nuclear weapons. Fourteen of the 15 members of the Security Council supported a measure calling for tighter monitoring of Iranian financial institutions, travel bans, and cargo inspections.
Milan businessman Ahmed Nasreddin and Akida Bank, an institution he founded, were removed from the U.S. Treasury Department's Specially Designated Nationals list on Thursday, a move that could clear U.S. businesses to deal with Nasreddin. The U.N. followed suit a day later.
Under the initiative, the organizations will provide training and aid for developing countries seeking to recover funds stolen by corrupt leaders and transferred to financial institutions in foreign jurisdictions.
Over the past nine months U.S. officials have met with more than 40 banks to push for stronger international sanctions against Iran.
The sanctions put pressure on U.S. banks to conduct greater due diligence on correspondent accounts to determine if they are linked to the Middle Eastern nation. That will likely continue a trend of foreign institutions dropping business dealings with the country.