(September 2017) – Bank Keshavarzi Iran, state-owned bank specialized in financing agriculture sector, has linked up with a number of major Russian lenders including Sberbank, Gazprombank and Transcapitalbank, announced Behrouz Hassan Olfat, director of Europe and Americas department at the Trade Promotion Organization.

“It is now possible for Iranians to open bank accounts (in ruble or euro) and use banking services like letters of credit, payment notes and guarantees, through Transcapitalbank,” TPO website quoted him as saying on Saturday.

These services are also being offered through Mir Business Bank, subsidiary of Bank Melli Iran in Russia, he added.

“Customers can also make transactions through Sberbank of Russia, Gazprombank, Promsvyazbank, RosEvroBank and Bank ZENIT… [Though] transactions through these banks need to be verified first,” Hassan Olfat said without providing details.

Lack of normal banking relations between the two countries has been a major obstacle for boosting commercial relations. Asadollah Asgaroladi, the chairman of Iran-Russia Chamber of Commerce recently called on Russians to take necessary measures for reviving banking relations with Iran, noting that Iran’s banking relations with Europe are being gradually normalized.

During the first four months of the current fiscal year (March 21-July 22), Iran-Russia trade experienced a 20% fall compared with the corresponding period of last year to stand at $980 million. Iran’s exports to Russia over the period stood at $180 million while imports amounted to $800 million.

Iran and Russia central banks recently agreed to integrate national bank card systems in November, which will allow their citizens to use their debit cards in each other’s countries.

Source » financialtribune