Thursday, June 13, 2024

Russia’s largest lender launches new service in Iran

Russia’s largest lender Sber is offering a new service that allows its clients to transfer money to Iran, the bank announced on Thursday.

The service is available to both individuals and businesses using their Sber accounts, according to the bank.

“The money transfer service to Iran is new to us and the demand for it has yet to be assessed. The service is primarily designed for tourists,” the announcement read.

According to Sber, ruble transfers will be sent to the Iranian Pasargad Bank with the standard commission for international transactions of 1%.

Last December, Russia’s second-largest bank VTB launched a similar service in Iran and later in May it opened a branch in the country. VTB became the first Russian lender to provide banking services in the Islamic Republic, which has been under international sanctions for decades.

Moscow and Tehran have been strengthening ties in the face of Western economic sanctions. In 2022, the value of goods and services exchanged between the two countries surged by 15% and reached $4.6 billion, according to official data.

Both countries have experienced an uptick in many areas of cooperation, including travel, with the number of Russians entering Iran having almost quadrupled in the first quarter of 2023 compared to 2019, according to customs data.

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