Banks in Iran, like the rest of the world, is a basic business. There are currently more than 42,000 ATMs around the country and there are also new ATMs rolling out every day in various parts of the country. These machines only function with the national (Iranian) system of the internal card known as Shetab. Shetab is simply a card type, such as Mastercard, Amex, Union Pay, but such cards remain useless as long as you stay there.
The central banking authority is the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Iranian central bank was founded in 1960 and is a government company. It issues and monitors banknotes and oversees banks in Iran. Iran’s Central Bank does serve much more purpose that includes the following ones:
- Keep the national currency worth
- Preserve the balance of payments in the country
- Facilitate business transactions
- Enhance the country’s development potential
There are both government-owned and Non-Government owned banks in Iran. We’ll discuss some of the top banks from both types and try to figure out which one is more suitable for you.
Top Government-owned banks:
Bank Melli, based in Tehran, is believed to be its first national and commercial retail bank as the greatest revenue firm in Iran. Established in 1927, it is the world’s largest bank with 3,328 branches and about 40,000 employees globally, in the Islamic and Middle East regions. The net assets reported by the bank were 76,6 billion dollars by the end of 2016, and revenues of 105 billion dollars.
Bank of Maskan is one of Iran’s state-owned banks supporting government and private sector development and housing in Iran. The bank with its branches in Tehran and Mashhad was founded in 1938, with its headquarters in Tehran. There are 12,259 employees (2019). In 2015, the bank reported US$460 billion in total assets and 5,02 billion in net profit.
Export Development Bank of Iran
In 1991, the Iranian Export Development Bank became one of Iran’s political banks. The Tehran-based bank belongs to the government of Iran. It offers Iranian exporters and importers financial and other traditional banking services. The bank was operating in Iran and other countries in March 2016 a network of 40 branches. Their assets equal 6.2 billion US dollars (2020) with total revenues of 81.2 million US dollars (2020).
Top Non-Government-owned Banks:
In 2001 EN Bank was founded and was the first private bank in Iran, also known as Eghtesad Novin Bank. The Bank provides retail, corporate, international and business banking solutions to clients, SMEs, companies and public bodies.
EN Bank offers its customers savings, card and safe deposit boxes as well as current accounts and loans; trader, cash management and financial services; Internet, telephone, mobile and SMS banking; foreign exchange, currency accounts, commercial finance, money transfers, and services on the wire.
Mellat Bank was established in 1980. The bank offers trade banking services in Iran, including transferring cash between accounts, forex trading, negotiable banknotes, foreign exchange financing facilities for currency circulation and medium-term ECO financing loans and short-term ECO financial loans.
Mellat Bank also offers financial, refinancing, Murabaha, foreign-exchange, guarantee letters, documentary credits, special services of payment, checkboxes, profitable deposit boxes, Muzzara, future contracts, access cards and core banking services. It maintains a network in Iran of 1774 branches and in South Korea and Turkey five branches. The total assets of the bank were 62 billion US dollars (2011) and income amounted to 6.761 billion USD in 2013. (2016).
How to open a bank account in Iran?
Having a bank account is everyone’s requirement these days, as the world is getting heavily influenced by technology. Opening a bank account in Iran is very much simpler these days for Iranian Nationals, they need to go through some of the basic paperwork that is essential for opening an account. Although at the same place the foreign nationals may face a bit of problem while opening a bank account in Iran. There are some of the rules and procedures that you need to go through before opening a bank account.
- For the Iranian Nationals, anyone above 18 can open a bank account in his name. The applicant needs to provide his or her official ID certificates at the time of opening the bank account. These official ID certificates include your birth or any national ID card, passport, etc.
- For Foreign Nationals, if they’re the permanent resident or have a permit or any refugee document are eligible to open a bank account in Iran. They must have these things while going to the bank for opening a bank account.
- A valid passport
- Resident Permit
- A letter of introduction given by one of the dependable customers of the Bank or one of the state and/or external ambassies validates and accredits the applicant only applies to the application for the current account.
These are some of the basic things which you need to consider while opening a bank account in Iran. Hope you liked it!