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SWIFT instructed to disconnect sanctioned Iranian banks following EU Council decision

Published on 15 Mar 2012


This article is also available in German


Brussels, 15 March 2012 – Following an EU Council decision, SWIFT is today announcing it has been instructed to discontinue its communications services to Iranian financial institutions that are subject to European sanctions.

The new European Council decision, as confirmed by the Belgian Treasury, prohibits companies such as SWIFT to continue to provide specialised financial messaging services to EU-sanctioned Iranian banks. SWIFT is incorporated under Belgian law and has to comply with this decision as confirmed by its home country government.

“This EU decision forces SWIFT to take action” said Lázaro Campos, CEO of SWIFT. “Disconnecting banks is an extraordinary and unprecedented step for SWIFT. It is a direct result of international and multilateral action to intensify financial sanctions against Iran.”
The EU-sanctioned Iranian financial institutions and the SWIFT customer community have been notified of the disconnection, which will become effective on Saturday 17 March at 16.00 GMT.

SWIFT has been and remains in full compliance with all applicable sanctions regulations of the multiple jurisdictions in which it operates, and has received confirmation of this from the competent regulatory authorities. As a global provider of secure messaging services, SWIFT has no involvement in or control over the underlying financial transactions that are contained in the messages of its member banks.

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SWIFT is a member-owned cooperative that provides the communications platform, products and services to connect more than 10,000 financial institutions and corporations in 210 countries. SWIFT enables its users to exchange automated, standardised financial information securely and reliably, thereby lowering costs, reducing operational risk and eliminating operational inefficiencies. SWIFT also brings the financial community together to work collaboratively to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest.

For more information, please refer to http://www.swift.com/.

SWIFT
Simon Bale 
+32 2 655 3377
pressoffice@swift.com