Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia, has introduced a new service allowing its customers to make transfers to Iran amid sanctions on both countries.
This service enables both personal and corporate banking, as reported by the bank's press service to RIA Novosti.
The transfers are conducted in Russian rubles and are directed to Pasargad Bank in Iran. The standard commission for these international transfers is set at 1% of the transfer amount.
According to Sberbank, the launch of this transfer service in September is aimed at catering to tourists, although it can be used by both individuals and businesses. The bank acknowledges that the demand for this service is yet to be fully assessed.
The move comes as the war in Ukraine has fostered closer cooperation between Russia and Iran in various sectors, including military, economic, and political realms.
In May, it was reported that two Iranian banks had established representative offices in Russia, as announced by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). This development followed the opening of a representative office in Tehran by Russia's second-largest bank, VTB Bank. Iran's Mir Business Bank, owned by Bank Melli Iran, has been operating in Russia since 2002, contributing to financial ties between the two nations.
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, VTB found itself among the Russian banks subjected to comprehensive sanctions imposed by both the United States and the European Union, resulting in their prohibition from conducting operations within European nations.
As a consequence, the bank was compelled to shutter its European and African branches, leaving it with operational branches solely in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Vietnam.