Armenia gave int’l community no cause to question its banking system

Armenia gave int’l community no cause to question its banking system

CBA issued a response to Reuters article, which claimed Iran expands presence in Armenian banking system.

Central Bank of Armenia (CBA) Financial Monitoring Center has actively cooperated with such international institutions as Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) and Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units.

PanARMENIAN.Net - As head of the center Daniel Azatyan noted, Armenia had never been included in Council of Europe’s list of countries engaged in money laundering, in contrast to Azerbaijan and Ukraine. Moreover, Armenia’s banking system has always boasted financial stability, quite strict regulations and good relations with foreign partners.

The Central Bank of Armenia (CBA) earlier issued a response to Reuters article, which claimed Iran expands presence in Armenian banking system, amid international sanctions.

Particularly the activities of Mellat Bank CJSC and ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK were questioned.

“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 report reads.

Moreover, conduction of any financial transactions with Iranian officials included in UN Security Council’s sanctions list is technically impossible, with the names and lists automated in relevant programs of all the banks.

Given U.S. and European countries calls upon their banks against cooperating with Iranian financial institutions, Armenian banks were forced to halt cooperation with Mellat Bank to maintain ties with foreign partners.

Meanwhile, Armenia boasts good financial relations with Iran, with trade cooperation between the two countries requiring cross-border banking operations.

According to Iran’s leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Armenian-Iranian annual trade turnover totals about USD 1 bln. Currently Mellat Bank cooperates with Tehran-based parent bank, servicing trade agreements between the two states. Maybe ensuring of Egmont Group’s operation by Armenia and Ukraine stirred up Reuters’ doubts?

It’s noteworthy that CBA sees no reasons for closure of Iranian Mellat Bank’s Armenian subsidiary.

As to ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK’s activity, CBA leadership noted that Armenian commercial banks conducted no international transactions with foreign banks for the past 4-5 years.

ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK holds no correspondent accounts with banks and financial institutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran neither in Mellat Bank, nor in any other Iranian bank.

Victoria Araratyan / PanARMENIAN News
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