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“Since a landmark nuclear deal went into effect in January, US officials have conducted roundtables with banking officials in more than 15 countries, but failed to reassure major foreign banks that it is OK for them to return to Iran, Al-Monitor has learned. A business source briefed on the issue told Al-Monitor at a May 3-4 business conference in Zurich on condition of anonymity that two Swiss banks — Credit Suisse and UBS — were among those approached by officials from the US Department of State and the US Treasury. Most big foreign banks have so far rejected a return to Iran for a host of reasons, including heavy fines paid to the US government for past sanctions violations and concerns that the sanctions environment could change again for the worse. Gregg Rosenberg, a spokesman for UBS, told Al-Monitor that his bank was not going to handle Iran business. ‘At this time there are no changes to our global sanctions policy, which restricts business activity with or involving Iran, including client activity such as payments or trading that involves Iran,’ Rosenberg said in an email… UBS suspended Iran business in 2005 after paying a $100 million fine to the US government for providing new US banknotes to the Islamic Republic.” (Al-Monitor, “US officials circle globe to explain Iran policy but fail to persuade,” 5/9/2016)
"When it comes to U.S. sanctions on Iran, no detail is too small to overlook these days. Since February, publicly traded companies have filed nearly 500 disclosure forms about their business ties to Iran…On Nov. 8, banking giant UBS said it had arranged trade financing for Swiss exporters involving four Iranian banks allegedly taking part in deals related to weapons of mass destruction. The bank said in its public filing that there had been no transactions since February 2012 but that it still maintained 'one existing account relationship' with one of the Iranian banks." (Washington Post, "Under new law, companies disclosing even tiniest dealings with Iran," 12/4/13)
"In 2004 UBS, a Swiss bank, paid a $100m fine (without admitting any liability) for providing new banknotes to Cuba and Iran." (The Economist. "Patchy blockade; Cuba and the United States," 8/16/08)
"US victims of attacks in Israel and their families are suing Swiss bank UBS for 500 million dollars, alleging it financed terrorism by doing business with Iran, their lawyer told AFP Tuesday." (AFP. "US families sue UBS over alleged terror links," 5/13/08)
"In late 2005, Dutch bank ABN Amro agreed to pay $80 million in fines stemming in part from improper transactions with Iran through its subsidiary in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. UBS Bank and Credit Suisse of Switzerland recently announced they were suspending most new business with Iran, and British-based HSBC said it would no longer accept dollar transactions from within Iran." (Los Angeles Times, "U.S. Puts The Squeeze On Iran's Oil Fields," January 7, 2007) "Since January three European banks - UBS, Credit Suisse and ABN Amro - have curtailed their activities in Iran. The banks said that their decisions to cut back had been business ones." (The London Times, "American pressure threatens UK firms," May 27, 2006)
UBS will no longer deal with individuals, companies or state institutions such as Iran's central bank, said company spokesman Serge Steiner. A similar policy is also being implemented in the case of Syria, he said.
All existing business with customers in Iran will be canceled, but Iranians in exile are not affected by the decision, Steiner said, confirming an article in Swiss weekly SonntagsZeitung.
"It is a carefully prepared measure that has been under consideration since last fall," Steiner said.
Iran, under increasing international pressure over its nuclear program — and mindful of the freezing of its U.S. assets after the 1979 seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran — has already begun transferring its reserves from European banks to an undisclosed location.
Steiner declined to specify the volume of business affected by the bank's decision. (Fox News. "UBS Halts Business with Iran," 1/22/06)
No response at this time.