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EghtesadOnline: Bank Melli Iran has recorded a good year in its international dealings with the volume of foreign exchange transactions reaching "about €10 billion" during the previous fiscal year that ended on March 20, BMI's deputy for foreign exchange and international affairs said.

"We can try to absorb more foreign investments and increase the volume of foreign trade in light of establishing more correspondent relations," Gholamreza Panahi was also quoted as saying by Banker.ir.

According to the official, BMI is focused on the reach and variety of services in its correspondent relations and not just on increasing the number of its liaisons.

"For instance, when the Hamburg branch of BIM is connected to Target 2 (the leading European platform for processing large-value payments) and has the ability to move funds in all the countries of the EU bloc, the major part of banking services can be provided through one correspondent bank," Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.

In interacting with other foreign lenders, he added, BMI is currently focused on short- and long-term finance and providing two-way correspondent services to receive letters of credit for non-oil exports.

Noting that his bank has active correspondent accounts with over 170 peers, Panahi added that while banking ties were mostly based on importing goods and services to Iran in the past, "now that non-oil exports have grown significantly, attention must shift to it".

"When a bank agrees to establish correspondent relations with another bank, it is also accepting its risks concerning combating money laundering and financing terrorism. The Iranian banking system must strive to improve transparency and conform to international standards," he said.

Panahi said this will reassure correspondent banks to create links with their Iranian counterparts and help develop the country's trade and interaction at the international level.

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