FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2012
Contact: Nathan Carleton, [email protected]
Phone: (212) 554-3296
UANI Calls on SWIFT's Board of Directors to Take Action to End SWIFT's Relationships with Iranian Financial Institutions
New York, NY -On Tuesday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on SWIFT's Board of Directors to take immediate action, to put SWIFT in compliance with U.S. and EU Iran sanctions law and its own corporate rules by ending SWIFT's relationships with Iranian banks and financial institutions.
Last week, UANI submitted a detailed legal explanation to the Board's Chairman, Yawar Shah, explaining how SWIFT violates U.S. and EU sanctions--as well as SWIFT's own bylaws--by providing sanctioned Iranian banks with BICs and access to the SWIFT system.
Immediately after UANI sent its letter to SWIFT, members of the U.S. Senate drafted and introduced an amendment that would sanction SWIFT. SWIFT, after initially defending its work with Iran, subsequently pledged to "find the right multilateral legal framework which will enable SWIFT to address the issues."
UANI is now calling on SWIFT's Board of Directors to act, by ending SWIFT's relationships with Iranian banks and financial institutions.
In separate letters to SWIFT's board members, sent last week along with a copy of UANI's original letter to Chairman Shah, UANI President, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, wrote:
As a Board Member of SWIFT, we urge you to take immediate action to ensure SWIFT's compliance with applicable U.S. and EU sanction law and to ensure that SWIFT complies with its own rules related to corporate governance and membership eligibility.
We have no doubt that you have not sought to oversee an institution that has been an enabling financial mechanism for the Iranian regime to pursue an illicit nuclear weapons program, support terrorist activities, and to engage in brutal human rights abuses. In recent months, however, the world has united in an effort to economically isolate the Iranian regime and to sanction its key industries. SWIFT must join that movement or risk continuing to run afoul of applicable sanctions law. Moreover, SWIFT jeopardizes its good reputation if it continues its work with Iran's financial institutions.
UANI's letter was sent to the following members of SWIFT's Board of Directors:
Stephen Zimmerman: Chief Operating Officer of the Wealth Management Division, UBS
Guy Beniada: Chief Financial Officer and Managing Director, ING
Udo Braun: Group Markets Operations, Commerzbank
Fabrice Denele: Head of Payments, BPCE
John Ellington: Director, Retail Banking Operations, The Royal Bank of Scotland
Giorgio Ferrero: Head of Payment Systems Strategy and Development, Intesa Sanpaolo
Goran Fors: Global Head of Custody Services, SEB
Wolfgang Gaertner: Chief Information Officer, Deutsche Bank AG
Gunther Gall: Head of Transactions Services Division, Raiffeisenbank International AG
Alan Goldstein: Managing Director, Worldwide Securities Services, J.P. Morgan
Rob Green: Chief Risk Officer, Global Transaction Services, Corporate and Investment Banking, FirstRand Bank Limited
Finn Otto Hansen: Clearing and Settlement Strategies, DnB NOR Bank ASA
Gerard Hartsink: Senior Advisor to the ABN AMRO Board, ABN AMRO Bank
Yumesaku Ishigaki: General Manager, Transaction Services Division, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
John Laurens: Head of Global Payments and Cash Management, Asia-Pacific, HSBC
Yves Maas: Head of International Operations, Credit Suisse
Lynn Matthews: Chairman of the Australian National Member Group
Godelieve Mostrey: Executive Director and Chief Technology and Services Officer, Euroclear
Pochet Alain: Head of Clearing, Custody and Corporate Trust Services, BNP Paribas
Javier Santamaria: Head of Finance Systems and Forums, Deputy General Manager, Banco Santander
Jeffrey Tessler: Chief Executive Officer of Clearstream International, S.A.
Marcus Treacher: Head of e-Commerce and Client Experience, Global Transaction Banking, HSBC
Ingrid Versnel: Head, Wealth Management and Payments, Operations and Technology, Royal Bank of Canada
Jee Hong Yee-Tang: Technology Advisor to ABS