Press TV - For the
first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran is set to allow foreign banks
to establish branches in the country and engage in normal banking operations.
Article 44 of the Iranian Constitution Law had heretofore placed banking activities exclusively in the hands of government. In tandem with the Law on Usury Free Banking Operations, these two measures effectively blocked foreign banking operations from conducting business in mainland Iran.
A handful of foreign bank branches and representative offices extant in the country were allowed to undertake administrative and coordination activities but were not permitted to open customer accounts inside the territory of mainland Iran, receive deposits or extend normative facilities. Foreign banks were, however, under special conditions, allowed to function in the Iranian free zones.
With the long-awaited privatization law having already come into force in the summer of 2008, allowing the normal functioning of foreign banks in Iran is viewed as a major economy boosting initiative by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).
The rules for regulating the activity of foreign banks are set forth in four parts and 13 articles in the decree dated March 18, 2009 by the Council of Ministers and titled The Executive By-law of the Manner of Establishment and Operations of Foreign Bank Branches in Iran.
The minimum capitalization for establishing a foreign bank branch in Iran is euro 5m. An English translation of the full text of the decree which has been notified by the CBI, can be viewed at Nourlaw website.
... Payvand News - 04/19/09 ... --