Bankers caution British exporters on compliance and sanctions challenges

British exporters have been warned of the challenges involved in dealing with countries on which sanctions are imposed.

Director, financial crime (sanctions and bribery) at the British Bankers Association (BBA), Justine Walker, referred particularly to Russia and the areas affected by so-called Islamic State when she addressed a group of exporters.

Compliance warning
Speaking to delegates at a recent British Exporters Association (BExA) seminar, Walker said that changing sanctions create challenges for exporters and banks alike, as both are required to perform increasingly thorough know your customer processes.

She underlined the importance of ensuring transactions do not violate regulations either in terms of financing or beneficial ownership.

BExA’s members were advised to be aware of the challenges posed by an increasingly complex regulatory environment and a growing list of high-risk countries.

Iranian challenges
Rolling back sanctions presents challenges too, said Walker, who says that the anticipated rapprochement with Iran over its nuclear programme – which is expected to lead to an easing of sanctions – would be a huge foreign policy success.

But she cautioned exporters not to expect unconditional bank support and financing deals with Iran would remain difficult.

Mirroring Myanmar
“In the same way banks are still uncomfortable doing business in Myanmar after the lifting of sanctions (AML Newsflow, 25 May 2015), they could still be wary of Iranian transactions due to the uncertainty regarding complex licensing provisions,” she said.

“While trade would be allowed in theory, in practice it would still be challenging to receive financing for it,” she concluded.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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