AZERBAIJANI BANKS DISCUSS FURTHER PRESSURE UPON WESTERN UNION AND MONEYGRAM AFTER BAN FOR OPERATIONS WITH THEM
Azerbaijan Business Center
Aug 1 2008
Baku, Fineko/abc.az. The Association of Banks of Azerbaijan is
conducting consultations with its member banks’ heads on the subject
of further steps in respect to international payment systems Western
Union and Moneygram, carrying out money transfers to Azerbaijan’s
territories occupied by Armenia.
ABA president Eldar Ismaylov said that domestic banks are debating
further moves towards the above-listed systems that violated
international law and international banking legislation.
"Earlier the taken measures led to the fact that Russia’s Vneshtorgbank
(VTB) closed a branch of its subsidiary VTB Armenia in Khankendi. The
same measures should be taken in respect to Western Union and
Moneygram," Islmaylov said.
VTB links the situation with the fact that by the moment of acquisition
of Savings Bank of Armenia the latter already had a Khankendi-based
branch that has been closed recently.
At the same time it is not important who raised earlier the issue
of illegal activity of payment systems – the National Bank (NB) of
Azerbaijan or banking community. It is our civil duty to suspend
operations with organizations failing to observe legal rights of
Azerbaijan," Ismaylov said.
On July 29 Rufat Aslanli, deputy chairman of board of the NB, sent
out a letter to banks in which it prescribes to stop immediately
since July 30 co-operation with money transfer systems Western Union
and Moneygram. He explained such prescription with the fact that
the NB set a demand to these systems and bodies controlling them on
compulsory stoppage of any money transfers to occupied territories
of Azerbaijan. Otherwise, it obliged to ban use of these systems
to all commercial banks of the country. All the domestic bans were
informed of that on June 20, 2008, but despite all the Azerbaijan’s
requirements, Western Union and Moneygram continued money transfers
to occupied territory of Azerbaijan.