By John Lee.
According to a report from Reuters, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has rebuffed efforts by the British government, a major shareholder, to coax the lender into facilitating trade with Iran.
Following the lifting of sanctions, and in anticipation of the UK leaving the European Union (EU), British officials have sought to boost business ties with Iran, including using the government’s influence with RBS and to a lesser extent Lloyds, in which it holds a minority stake, to help speed up trade finance with Iran, including clearing services for Iranian banks in sterling.
A senior Iranian banking official told Reuters:
“We asked UK officials to help us to overcome this issue. We were promised that the British government would try to convince the banks, including Lloyds and RBS … Nothing is happening on the ground.”
British officials have reportedly said that resolving banking issues with Iran was a “priority” for the government.