50 German Banks Processing Payments from Iranian Banks

IBENA – Director of Bank Melli Iran branch in Hamburg said some 50 German Banks accept payments from Iranian banks.

German banks are increasingly refusing to accept payments from Iranian banks, apparently more scared of the US than of the EU. As a result, some German small and mid-sized exporters face possible bankruptcy. “Eighty to 85 percent of all payments to German banks are being rejected,” said Helmut Gottlieb, director of the Hamburg branch of Bank Melli Iran.

According to Mr. Gottlieb, the refusal to process payments breaches the rules of both the Bundesbank and of Europe’s Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) system. Germany’s central bank has a duty to uphold the payments system in Germany and to guarantee the contractual obligations of all European banks to carry out SEPA bank transfers, he continued.

Not so, said the Bundesbank, arguing it is not responsible for implementing SEPA rules and that it can’t force banks to accept payments. The German government, meanwhile, was decidedly evasive in its response to Handelsblatt inquiries. Asked for comment, the finance ministry said the matter was up to the economics ministry and the Bundesbank. The economics ministry then declined to comment.

The US ambassador to Berlin, Richard Grenell, welcomed the banks’ refusal to handle transfers, telling Handelsblatt that German comapnies are increasingly adhering to US sanctions against Iran. Meanwhile, Tehran said it would pull out of the nuclear deal unless its foreign trade remains intact. That’s unlikely to happen if banks don’t play ball.

“To keep the agreement alive, we need concrete solutions so that payment routes are kept open and trade with Iran remains possible,” Mr. Maas said during a meeting about Iran on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Date : Saturday 6 October 2018 / Subject : International News - Banking System News / Source : IBENA