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EghtesadOnline: Iran’s banks and credit institutions have continued the process of reducing their local branches in the past three months, according to latest numbers disclosed by the Central Bank of Iran, although the overall decrease is not significant.

Based on the CBI report published on its official news website on Wednesday, all banks and credit institutions in the country had 20,590 branches by the end of the third month of the current fiscal year (June 21). This indicated that 125 branches have been closed down compared with the end of the previous fiscal year on March 20, 2018, showing a minor 0.6% decrease.

State-owned banks had a total of 8,765 active branches by the end of this year’s Q1 to grab a 42.1% share of total branches. They shed 84 branches during the three months to last year’s Q4. This included 4,967 commercial bank branches that shrunk by 80 and 3,639 specialized bank branches that shrunk by four.

From the total number of state-owned bank branches, only 542 were located in rural areas. A total of 6,520 branches were rial branches while 2,161 were rial and foreign exchange branches. State-run banks have no single foreign exchange branch inside Iran, according to Financial Tribune.

However, they had 18 offshore branches and four representative offices by the end of Q1, bringing the total number of their local and foreign branches to 8,699. 

Non-state banks had 11,917 branches on Iranian soil by July 21, indicating that they shed 41 branches during the previous three months. 

The figure includes 6,150 branches belonging to privatized lenders and 5,446 branches run by private lenders and credit institutions. The former decreased their total number of branches by 48 while the latter was the only category to actually boost the number of branches by seven. 

From the total number of non-state branches, the overwhelming minority of 321 were located in rural areas. Rial branches grabbed the lion’s share here too at 10,250, while 1,626 were branches conducting both rial and foreign currency operations. Private banks are the only ones in Iran that have specialized foreign exchange branches that totaled 41.

Non-state banks and credit institutions had 30 operational branches outside Iran and one representative office by the end of this year’s Q1. This brings the total number of local and offshore branches to 11,947.

All-in-all, Iran’s banks and credit institutions operated 20,646 branches and representative offices inside and outside the country at the end of the third month of the current year. 

Banks had shrunk the number of their branches by 0.3% at the end of last year compared to the year before, as the number of total local branches stood at 20,723.


branches Central Bank of Iran Credit Institutions Iran banks local branches