In a sign of a warming of relations between Bern and Tehran, Reyl & Cie, an independent Swiss banking group, has announced it will welcome Iranians opening private accounts as well as commercial ones.
Iranians are still finding it difficult to move their capital out of Iran even though global banks in theory can offer their services to the country following the signing of the nuclear deal at the end of last year. However, there remains a good deal of hesitancy on the part of the foreign banks in doing business with Iranian banks, fearing action by US regulators after BNP Paribas agreed in 2015 to pay a record $9bn US fine in part for dealings with Iran.
bne IntelliNews called Reyl & Cie’s main branch in Geneva for comment, although nobody was able to speak about the new service, but didn’t deny it.
The Swiss bank, which also has branches in the United Arab Emirates, is looking to take advantage of being one of the first to offer international banking services to Iranians who might have relations and comercial ties with those living in Switzerland. At least 5.2% of the population of that country hold Iranian passports.
“Reyl is not a large bank, but the move is a starting point for further cooperation between Iran and Switzerland,” Sharif Nezam Mafi, head of the Iran-Switzerland Chamber of Commerce, was quoted as saying by Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mining’s website on October 4.
Founded in 1973, Reyl & Cie is licensed as a bank in Switzerland and performs its activities under the direct control of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and the Swiss National Bank (SNB). The Reyl Group manages assets of over CHF11bn.
In September, Reyl & Cie reported a profit of CHF4.1m for the first half of 2016, a 63.4% slump compared to CHF11.2m in the prior year.
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