New sanctions are continually being imposed, making life difficult for banks, which must comply or face stiff penalties. In the past, much of the work toward sanctions compliance involved burdensome manual tasks, but today, technology can lift off much of the load. Since compliance is not an option and pleading ignorance doesn’t work, banks are turning to tools such as intelligent process automation to do the job better and quicker.
Iran was for years considered an economic pariah, cut off from the rest of the world by crippling sanctions initiated by the US more than 35 years ago. The recent JCPOA has lifted many sanctions, allowing Iran to re-join the global economic community through participating in trade and attracting foreign investment.
The Caribbean Basin has been famed for its offshore financial services, but they are now, together with the banking systems of the countries in the region, increasingly threatened by international sanctions and legislation that is requiring new levels of transparency in transaction-reporting that could significantly diminish the appeal of the Caribbean for investors.
European banks are going through some hard times at the moment. On the one hand, they are being pressured by new regulations requiring them to boost their capital ratios and limiting their proprietary-trading activity, something that many lenders have complained will affect their profitability.