Bank of Ireland is proving to be among the leading financial institutions in Ireland and internationally. The bank has not shied away from lucrative offers to partner or bank for countries such as Britain and Iran. Recent evaluation on its interactions has shown tremendous performance in several countries. The bank serves as a leading financial provider for almost all embassies in Ireland. What caught many Irish citizens by surprise was the fact that the bank provides financial services for the Iranian embassy even after Iran ordered the shutting down of the Irish embassy in Iran.

'Heavy Transactions'

Iran has been banking in Ireland for a while now. Bank of Ireland has recently admitted to being Iran’s financial advisor and banker in Ireland. The bank made this admission to the SEC on March 28th, this year. The bank not only banks for Iran as a state but Iran’s embassy employees. Bank of Ireland makes transactions of money going into and out of the bank accounts affiliated to the Iranian Embassy. The bank’s spokesman describes the transactions as “heavy transactions”  since they relate to official Iranian business, expenses relating to embassy employees and scholarship payments made to institutions  in Ireland with Iranian students.

Iranian law, under the Iran Threat Reduction provides that any bank processing transactions for Iran must make full disclosure of these transactions. The Syria Human Rights Act (2012) also provides that disclosure is paramount especially when transactions are conducted for Iran, outside Iran. Bank of Ireland provided information on the accounts held for Iran saying that they are used for Iranian expenses in Ireland alone. The bank stated that the transactions are all legal and in line with the local law authorization.

The news was received with little excitement by most Ireland residence since Iran had earlier ordered the closing down of the Irish embassy in Iran. Iran claimed that the closure was not intended to raise any suspicious issues but was an economic move for the Iranian government. Bank of Ireland has so far made a profit of €1,906 from its transactions with Iran. Despite the attention raised by most Irish citizens, The Bank of Ireland expressed no intention of closing the existing bank accounts with Iran. The bank’s representative maintained that all its transactions with Iran are submissive to the pertinent regulatory requirements and decrees of the appropriate jurisdictions in which the bank operates. The bank had further subscribed to the practice of disclosure and transparency as recommended by the Iranian government.

Ireland has been striving to compete with countries like Britain and the USA in uplifting its economy; therefore, moves such as partnering with Iran should not be looked at negatively or suspiciously, but as a chance to advance the country’s financial status. Bank of Ireland has also maintained links with British companies, as a step towards competing with leading Banks in Britain. The Irish Bank has had a successful partnership with Post Office since 2004 and the partnership has been extended up to 2023. The bank is Post Office’s exclusive financial service provider and advisor. It has been serving over 11,000 Post Office branches with up to 2.7 million clients.

Bank of Ireland in Britain has maintained a lead role in offering mortgages and credit facilities to Post Office customers. The bank’s spokesman said that the bank was not looking back in terms of advancing its services for a successful future in banking. The next plan was to deploy several financial advisors in all the Post Office branches, in the UK. The financial advisors’ roles are to disseminate information on credit and mortgage facilities.          


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