Could sanctions be more harmful to US banks than to Iran?

The United States and other nations recently issued tighter sanctions on Iran – and a warning to banks who continue to do business with the rogue nation.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was blunt in his message to banks that “every financial transaction with Iran poses grave risk” and financial institutions “should think hard about the risks of doing business with Iran.”

John Atkinson, director of regulatory risk consulting at Protiviti Inc. says banks are thinking hard – and worrying about the new requirements. “[T]here’s never been an explicit requirement to know your customers’ customers,” he says. Could the sanctions be another situation in which good intentions have a bad result?

The American Banker looks at what impact the sanctions will – or will not – have on US banks.

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