President Rouhani urged banks and financial institutions to exercise utmost transparency in their dealings in order to improve the global view on Iran’s monetary system.
The Iranian president made the remark on Sunday at the 57th annual meeting for the General Assembly of the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
“We have presented three bills to the Parliament on combating money laundering, and made amendments to the country’s current Law of Combating the Financing of Terrorism,” Rouhani said, adding “the adoption of these bills will help improve the global view on Iran’s domestic banks and monetary system.”
Rouhani’s remarks came against the backdrop of the latest measure by the world’s financial watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which extended in Feb. a waiver for punitive measures against Iran for another six months, but refused to remove the country from its blacklist, in a move which many believe to be politically motivated.
Rouhani’s administration supports FATF membership in hopes of attracting more foreign investment, while critics of the government say FATF membership will expose Iranian financial institutions to political pressures and extraterritorial penalties.
“Working with transparency will be in the best interest of all of us,” the president stressed.
The approval of these amendments by the Parliament will push us at least one step away from the (FATF) blacklist, he added.
The president then noted the country’s lowered risk level from 7 to 5 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), voicing optimism at the current status of the Iranian banks and people’s trust in them.
Rouhani went on, however, to voice dissatisfaction with the current level of relations between the Iranian banks and international banks, stressing that the transactions between the two sides need to be better and more facilitated.
“If we want to gain access to cheaper and better financial resources in the world, we need to create a more appropriate and reliable atmosphere of cooperation between the CBI and other banks in the country,” he added.
Rouhani also discussed the situation with the unlicensed lending institutions, saying the CBI will allocate over $5 million to compensate the depositors. The President stressed that the situation, which caused a lot of problems for the government, could have been avoided if there had been more transparency and monitoring over banking operations.