ING Group

Financial Services
11
NYSE:ING
Netherlands

Audria.Benn@us.ing.com

Despite hopes of a new dawn for Iran's economy after nuclear-related sanctions were lifted, major Western banks are reluctant to do business with the Islamic republic for fear of US retribution. President Hassan Rouhani has said that to reach the target of eight-percent growth needed to modernise the industrial sector and relaunch the hobbled economy, Iran needs up to $50 billion in foreign investment every year. But without the big foreign banks, that looks impossible. "For the moment, the little European banks have agreed to work with us," said Parviz Aghili, head of the private Middle East Bank in Tehran. They include banks from Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium, he said without naming them. "But not a single medium-sized or big bank has so far agreed to do it," he added... The limited number of institutions that do deal with the Islamic republic include Raiffeisen Bank and Erste Bank from Austria, Mediobanca and Banco Popolare of Italy, Germany's EIH, KfW and AKA banks, Belgium's KBC, ING of the Netherlands and Turkey's Halk, according to a banking expert in Tehran. "These banks have established working relations with the Iranian banks to open letters of credit for fairly small sums of 10, 20 or 50 million dollars." But they lack the resources to finance big projects like the deal struck between Iran and European aircraft manufacturer Airbus for 118 airplanes, or oil and gas development projects, the expert said. (AFP, "Iran banking hobbled by Western reluctance to engage," 9/13/2016).

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"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 AmroBarclaysCredit SuisseLloyds 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)

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"ING Bank [a subsidiary of ING Group,] has agreed to pay a record penalty of $619 million for illegally moving billions of dollars through the U.S. banking system on behalf of Cuban and Iranian clients and threatening to fire employees if they failed to conceal the origin of the money . . . the bank, a unit of ING Groep NV, one of the Netherlands largest banks, used a system to 'strip,' or delete, references to Cuba and Iran and, through more than 20,000 separate transactions, successfully moved more than $2 billion through the U.S. financial system . . . [ING] engaged in transactions with Iran's central bank and state-owned National Iranian Oil Co."  (Wall Street Journal, "ING Fined a Record Amount," 6/12/12)

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Noted for conducting business with Iranian banks. (Avi Jorisch, "Iran's dirty banking," 2010)

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"Dutch bancassurer ING Group NV repeated that it could face 'significant' fines due to a U.S. investigation of operations in countries which are under sanctions by U.S. authorities, such as Iran and Cuba. The United States imposes economic sanctions and export controls on Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria, viewing them as state sponsors of terrorism and limiting the scope for companies to do business there... A U.S. judge last August approved a $298 million settlement by British bank Barclays Plc over charges that it had violated U.S. trade sanctions by doing deals in Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Myanmar."(Reuters, "ING says could face fines following U.S. investigation," 7/27/10) 

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Listed by U.S. Government as doing business in Iran. (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, List of Companies Doing Business With State Sponsors Of Terror, Removed from the internet in July of 2007)

No response at this time.