The failing banks of Iran

By INU Staff

INU – Banks play a crucial role in improving economic growth by aggregating small deposits into large loans to fund economic and production units. In Iran, under the current regime, though, banks themselves have become a challenge to the economy.

The financial statements of Iran’s major banks show that they are insolvent. withIn the major banks, embezzlement cases are even more serious than the ones related to credit institutions.

Pension funds cannot pay the retirees. Insurance companies are unable to pay the workers who have lost their jobs due to factory closures. Because of the sanctions, the regime is incapable of providing funds.

These factors have combined to force the Rouhani government to withdraw from the country’s banking system.

It is alleged that the regime has the banks offer large interest on savings to attract deposits. It then accumulates them into huge loans that are given to regime-linked figures. They transfer the received loans out of the country and never pay them back. This embezzlement is bankrupting the banks.

According to the Article 141 of the country’s Trade Law, “A corporation is considered bankrupt if its losses exceed half of its capital, in which case the corporation’s board of directors have to either dissolve the company or increase its capital with the help of its shareholders.” Based on financial statements, with debts that are higher than the banks’ assets, according to the law it would seem that Iran’s Day, Sarmayeh and Tejarat banks are bankrupt.

As for Saderat and Melli banks, the amount of debt is nearly equal to the banks’ assets, which, by itself, proves that the banks are insolvent.

The government, using the banking resources to fill its budget deficit while failing to fulfill its commitments, is one reason behind Iran’s banking failure.

Another factor is deferred payments, also referred to as poisonous assets. The banks’ balance sheets show an estimated 200 billion thousand tomans of such assets, but they don’t exist. Those amounts have been given to loan receivers who are not going to pay them back.

Additionally, hundreds of billions of tomans were invested in the real estate sector, which are now locked up and unrealizable due to a recession in the housing sector.

In the regime’s media, the term ‘super debtor’ is now familiar. It’s difficult to find out the names of such super debtors, but a few exceptions come up during clashes between regime’s rival factions. Some examples are:

• Mohammad Rostami, referred to as M.R. in regime’s media, is reportedly one of the super debtors who has received 6,500 billion tomans in bank loans and facilities, including a 1700-billion-thousand-toman loan from Parsian Bank alone.

• Rasoul Danialzadeh, a close friend to Rouhani’s brother Hossein Fereidoon, it alleged to have a 2,300-billion-toman bank debt. Danialzadeh, closely connected to Hossein Fereidoon, and‘Shabdoost Malamiri are the two who are said to be behind many of Iran’s bank embezzlement cases.

According to regime media, 20 super debtors, including the son of former mayor of Tehran Bagher Ghalibaf, and the son of Chief of Police, are close to 7,000 billion tomans in debt to Sarmayeh Bank.

Bank insolvency increases inflation, recession, unemployment, and poverty. It can collapse an already damaged economy. The Iranian people are paying the price out of their already meager livelihoods.

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