Source: Press TV
While the British government has reaffirmed its commitment to help Iran's reintegration into the global financial system, reports say the country's central bank is still reluctant to facilitate trade between the two countries.
Reuters in an exclusive report quoted informed sources as saying that the
of England (BoE) had recently turned down a request by Tehran to set up special
clearing accounts for its banks.
Such accounts, for Iran's own Central Bank or for the British subsidiaries of Iranian banks, would allow them to make and receive payments in sterling, business so far rejected by commercial banks.
"That would send a huge message to the market. What commercial bank is practically going to stop Bank of England payments? None," Reuters quoted one Western source as saying.
However, the sources said the BoE seems uninterested in resolving the problem for now.
"The Bank of England has proved resistant to intervening in any kind of positive way in order to assist trade between Iran and UK," said the Western source.
Reuters further quoted a senior Iranian banking official in Tehran as saying that the BoE had suspended anything related to Iran. "Everything has been put on hold."
The UK government, eager to boost trade with new markets like Iran after last year's vote to leave the European Union, has struggled to convince British banks to boost trade with Iran, sources have told Reuters.
British trade minister Liam Fox told a parliamentary committee last week he had commissioned work from his department to look at how to normalize "effective payment channels" with Iran to try to open up trading opportunities.
In response to questions from Reuters, the British government said it was still committed to working closely with all parties, including UK banks and industry groups, to help open opportunities for trade between Britain and Iran.
"This will be a vital part of Iran's re-integration into the international community and we will continue to work to strengthen and expand our trading relationship for mutual benefit," said a statement attributed to a government spokesperson, as reported by Reuters.
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