Bank Melli Iran London reopens offshore bank in Hong Kong

By bne IntelliNews September 19, 2017

Bank Melli Iran London PLC announced on September 18 that it has reopened its former branch in Hong Kong after several years of closure, Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

British-registered subsidiary BMI London shut down its operations in the former British colony citing international sanctions imposed on Iran. According to the bank’s website, the Hong Kong branch was reopened on September 15. “Bank Melli is pleased to announce that its Hong Kong branch is now in a position to offer a wide range of trade-related services to its customers,” a posting on the website said.

Audit services firm Ernst & Young (EY) helped BMI London reopen its Hong Kong operation. The bank submitted financial books which were audited before being passed to the Hong Kong Banking Authority. That authority then opened the way for the restoration of the required offshore banking licence.

“The Hong Kong Banking Authority, in turn, validated the final report of EY and authorised Bank Melli [London] PLC to offer banking services,” Mohammad Reza Hosseinzadeh, managing director of BMI London, said.

BMI London got back its UK banking licence in May 2016. It too had to close for a period of several years until sanctions were dropped under the nuclear deal between Tehran and six major powers.

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