Russia’s largest lender, Sber, has introduced a new service that enables its clients to transfer money to Iran, according to an announcement made on Thursday. This service is available to both individuals and businesses holding Sber accounts. Although the demand for this service is yet to be assessed, the primary focus is on catering to tourists.
The ruble transfers will be sent to the Iranian Pasargad Bank, with a standard commission of 1% for international transactions, as stated by Sber. This move by Sber follows the footsteps of VTB, Russia’s second-largest bank, which launched a similar service in Iran last December. Furthermore, in May, VTB became the first Russian lender to establish a branch within the country, offering banking services in the Islamic Republic that has been subject to international sanctions for an extended period of time.
As western economic sanctions continue to afflict Iran, Moscow and Tehran have been strengthening their ties. Official data reveals that in 2022, the value of goods and services exchanged between the two nations experienced a significant surge of 15%, reaching $4.6 billion. This increase indicates an evident uptick in multiple areas of cooperation, including travel. According to customs data, the number of Russians entering Iran in the first quarter of 2023 nearly quadrupled compared to the same period in 2019.
Sber’s new money transfer service to Iran aligns with the increasing economic ties and growing bilateral trade between Russia and Iran. The convenience and accessibility provided by this service are expected to further enhance cooperation and contribute to the expansion of economic activities between the two countries. This initiative demonstrates Russia’s commitment to pursuing economic opportunities regardless of international sanctions.
Aside from the financial sector, Russia and Iran have also been exploring the use of national currencies in trade transactions. RT’s business section covers additional stories on economy and finance.
In conclusion, Sber’s introduction of a money transfer service to Iran reflects the bank’s proactive approach to cater to the growing demand for financial services in the Islamic Republic. This move aligns with the deepening economic cooperation between Russia and Iran, which have experienced significant growth in various sectors. As both countries seek to strengthen their ties amidst western sanctions, initiatives like this showcase the determination to expand bilateral trade and foster greater economic engagement.