Iranian, Pakistani Banks Queue up to Open Branches

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Seif said Bank Melli Iran and Pakistan’s Habib Bank are the first to open branches, adding that they have already sent proposals for opening branches.

Three Iranian banks, Bank Pasargad, Saman Bank and Parsian Bank, are also in queue, according to information made available to the media.

Seif said bilateral trade is of interest to these banks to have a presence in Iran and Pakistan, adding that in the case of Iran, the lifting of sanctions has paved the way for direct relations, particularly for issuing LCs.

Pakistan’s Central Bank Governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra also said his country is fully open to Iranian banks to open their branches in the neighboring country.

He said Bank Melli Iran has expressed interest for opening its branch in Pakistan.

“We will be very happy to revive that request if Bank Melli approaches the State Bank of Pakistan,” he said.

He said in past times Pakistani banks used to have branches in Iran and Habib Bank and United Bank have never closed their representative offices in Iran in worst of the times.

“I am sure Habib Bank and United Bank will be one of the first Pakistani banks to start branches in Iran after lifting of sanctions,” he added.

He noted that three of Pakistani banks have already visited Iran recently and they are at a very advanced stage of collaborating with the Iranian banks to start transactions.

“Our market is very excited, our businessmen are excited, many visits have already taken place, and we are looking forward to reviving centuries old trade relationship,” he said.

Wathra added that the Asian Currency Unit has been opened to exchanges between Iran and Pakistan. He said at this point trade and business between Iran and Pakistan can be carried out in Euros, Japanese Yen, British Pound, in all currencies except US dollars because part of the US sanctions are still there.

The official said the kind of support US government had extended for removal of UN sanctions on Iran is very positive, and one day they must be thinking of taking away their own sanctions on Iran.

“It was not only Iran losing, many economies like us, North American economies, and the European economies who were doing business with Iran were also losing,” he said.

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