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US banks to close foreign diplomatic mission accounts

Discussion in 'Biashara, Uchumi na Ujasiriamali' started by cream.b, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. cream.b

    cream.b Member

    Jan 14, 2011
    Joined: Apr 17, 2010
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    Foreign diplomats have complained to the US government about the decision of several US banks to end services for diplomatic missions.
    The diplomats of several countries said they were actively searching for new banks but were having little success.
    Federal officials heard the concerns of roughly 150 envoys during a closed-door briefing on Thursday at the United Nations in New York City.
    Some diplomats said the UN budget could be affected by the account closures.
    The Wall Street Journal newspaper suggested in November that the banks' decisions were prompted by difficulties in adhering to federal money-laundering regulations affecting international transfers.
    Regulations have been tightened since 9/11 in an effort to stop the flow of illegal foreign funds for crimes like financing terrorist acts.
    'Big concern' Speaking after the briefing, state department official Patrick Kennedy told reporters the missions had been given advice on "alternative approaches" they could take to obtain banking services.
    He stressed that the banks' decisions were based on commercial reasons and "not because the bank is saying that the embassy of Xanadu or the mission of Shangri-La is engaged in some nefarious activity".
    The US would continue its work with both diplomats and the banking industry, he added.
    JP Morgan Chase, which handles many diplomatic accounts, did not specify a reason for terminating the services.

    BBC News - US banks to close foreign diplomatic mission accounts