EghtesadOnline: The Central Bank of Afghanistan has annulled the operating license of the only Iranian bank which was active in that country.
Arian Bank started its operations under a joint venture between Bank Melli of Afghanistan Iran’s Sedarat Bank in 2004.
However, officials at the Central Bank of Afghanistan claim the operating license of Arian Bank was revoked because it was not respecting the laws and regulations of the Kabul government, KHAAMA Press News Agency reported.
They claim Arian was operating in defiance of orders and instructions of the Central Bank of Afghanistan. Besides, the Iranian bank also had “made no contribution to the economic development” of the war-ravaged neighboring country, according to Financial Tribune.
Afghanistan’s banking authority had cancelled the operating license of Pakistan’s Habib Bank Limited late in March.
Afghan officials then had talked of “violations committed by Habib Bank and lack of contribution to economic development” of the country as the root cause of their move against the prominent Pakistani lending institution.
Speaking to Fars News Agency, the CEO of Arian Bank Davood Mahdian said the Afghan banking authorities claims are full of “generalities,” arguing that Arian has been all the rules of the Afghan Central Bank since its inception in 2005.
However, he acknowledged that there “may have been some misconduct” with regard to Arian’s functions, lamenting that whatever it was it simply does not warrant such unfriendly reaction resulting in the cancellation of its operating license.
Pointing to rules governing banks activities in the world, Mahdian said the license of a bank is cancelled when it is on the brink of bankruptcy or if it commits a major crime like money laundering.
He said the bank’s officials are in talks with the Afghan banking authorities to settle the dispute.