TEHRAN, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Britain said on Sunday that it wanted to work with Iran’s central bank to make it easier for UK banks to finance trade and investment in the country after a thaw in diplomatic relations.
“I think it would be very helpful and very positive if we could begin a dialogue about how we can create conditions which would allow British banks and British financial institutions to engage in the financing of trade and investment in Iran,” Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told Valiollah Seif, governor of the Central Bank of Iran, at a meeting in Tehran.
Hammond said banks, mindful of penalties imposed in the past by U.S. authorities, were cautious to ensure that they were fully compliant when they return to Iran.
“There is a huge appetite both on the part of our commercial and industrial businesses to engage with the opportunity of Iran opening up and there is huge appetite on the part of our financial institutions to support that activity but of course it has to be done in the proper way,” he said.
Seif said the countries had a positive relationship in the past, and they could build on those experiences.
Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, Writing by Paul Sandle; Editing by Susan Fenton