CBA rules out transactions between Armenian banks and UN-sanctioned Iranians

CBA rules out transactions between Armenian banks and UN-sanctioned Iranians

PanARMENIAN.Net - Conduction of any financial transactions with Iranian officials included in UN Security Council’s sanctions list is technically impossible, head of Central Bank of Armenia (CBA) Financial Monitoring Center said.

“The names and lists are automated in relevant programs of all the banks. Thus, technically, the program won’t allow for any matches with these names,” Daniel Azatyan said.

The Central Bank of Armenia earlier issued a response to Reuters article, claiming Iran expands presence in Armenian banking system, in answer to international sanctions.

“The banks in the Republic of Armenia, operating under the supervision of the Central Bank of Armenia (CBA), are subject to RA laws, CBA regulations and internal rules. One of CBA’s supervisory tiers is the provision of the adequate implementation of financial sanctions imposed on certain countries under relevant decisions of international organizations, such as the UN Security Council Resolutions,” CBA’s report reads.

“CBA is responsible for checking the matches of the names and lists specified. For this purpose, the bank submits necessary queries. No transaction has been conducted so far with officials whose names match,” he said, adding that U.S. and European countries urge their banks against cooperating with Iranian financial institutions.

“The bank shareholders themselves urge employees to be extremely careful,” he said.

“Given the fact that Armenian banking system’s assets are rather small as compared with the international standards, any problem will seriously affect the image of the bank, the whole banking system and the country itself,” Mr. Azatyan said, adding that Armenia boasts good financial cooperation with Iran.

The Financial Monitoring Center (FMC) was established in 2005 as a separate unit in the structure of the Central Bank of Armenia. The FMC is an administrative-type financial intelligence unit, which acts as an intermediary between reporting entities and law enforcement authorities. The mission of the FMC is to combat money laundering and terrorism financing (AML/CFT).

The main function of the FMC is to collect, analyze and exchange information for AML/CFT purposes. In addition, the FMC represents the Republic of Armenia in several international organizations and structures, while actively participating in international AML/CFT initiatives.

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