September 18, 2023
Banking International

What’s Behind Iran And Russia’s Efforts To Link Banking Systems?

 “The financial channel between Iran and the world is being restored,” the new governor of Iran’s central bank, Mohammadreza Farzin, said last week when he announced that Iran and Russia have taken a significant step towards linking their banking infrastructures amid Western sanctions.

Russia has yet to comment but, according to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), after years of work, the two countries have managed to connect Iran’s SEPAM national financial messaging service to Russia’s Financial Messaging System of the Bank of Russia (SPFS).

SPFS is the Russian equivalent of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), the global financial messaging and transfer system, and its goal is to link it with other major powers like China and India. It started developing SPFS when it was previously threatened with expulsion from SWIFT for annexing Crimea in 2014.

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