"For Syrian and Iranian citizens living in the Gulf, finding a bank to deal with just became a little tougher. Banks like Barclays and HSBC have begun turning away new customers from countries that are facing sanctions. They are closing down some existing accounts, further isolating Syrian and Iranian citizens from the global financial industry... Also under the new measures, Syrian or Iranian customers with bank balances of less than 100,000 dirhams, or $27,225, will be asked to close their accounts within 30 days. Customers with salaries of less than 15,000 dirhams will also be affected. This is because the cost to the bank of making the enquiries necessary to enforce compliance is higher than the benefit or 'profit potential' of keeping a customer with a small bank balance. It is cheaper for HSBC to close an account or not to open a new one with a balance of less than 100,000 dirhams." (The New York Times, "Sanctions Chill Reaches Banking Clients in the Persian Gulf," 2/13/13)
"Since 2009, the Justice Department, the Treasury Department and the Manhattan district attorney’s office, working largely in concert, have brought charges against five foreign banks, contending they moved billions of dollars through their American subsidiaries on behalf of Iran, Cuba and North Korea, sponsors of terrorism and drug cartels. The cases against the five banks all included deferred prosecution agreements and required the banks — ABN Amro, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Lloyds and most recently ING — to forfeit a substantial amount of assets. The cases typically have not involved United States banks. Unlike foreign institutions, American banks were prohibited from originating or receiving such transactions from Iran. That enabled them to largely sidestep the conduct that has helped ensnare foreign banks." (New York Times, "Deutsche Bank’s Business With Sanctioned Nations Under Scrutiny," 8/17/12)
"While operating in Iran, the bank received a small contract from the United States Navy. In 2007, the company disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it was the subject of a Justice Department investigation into its operations in countries where the United States maintains sanctions, and a spokesperson said the bank terminated all of its business in Iran and other countries subject to sanctions that year. The company, which said in a 2010 disclosure that it was cooperating with the inquiry, declined to comment on the investigation." The company received $47,381 in revenue and benefits from the US government for their business in Iran during 2000-2009. The company has since withdrawn their investments in Iran. (The New York Times, "Profiting from Iran, and the US," 3/6/2010)
“Evidence of Iran's efforts to acquire sensitive materials also is emerging from investigations by state and federal prosecutors in New York into whether a number of major Western banks illegally handled funds for Iran and deliberately hid Iranian transactions routed through the U.S….Documents detailing Iran's metals acquisition efforts are being reviewed by U.S. law-enforcement and intelligence officials, people involved in the matter said. Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said he is conducting a broad inquiry into illegal transactions by Iran. Last week, Lloyds TSB of London agreed to pay $350 million to settle U.S. sanctions-busting charges with Mr. Morgenthau's office and the Justice Department. The bank admitted it violated U.S. law but said the practice has ceased. There are nine other banks that we think were doing this, said Mr. Morgenthau in an interview, including Barclays PLC of the U.K. A Barclays spokesman had no comment beyond a prior disclosure confirming the inquiry. Other banks under scrutiny in the probe include Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, people with knowledge of the inquiries said." (The Wall Street Journal, "Fresh Clues of Iranian Nuclear Intrigue," 1/16/09)
No response at this time.