Reform plan gets underway in state banks: finance minister

October 8, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran’s Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Farhad Dejpasand announced the start of a banking reform program in government-owned banks, Tasnim news agency reported on Tuesday.

Dejpasand made the announcement on the sidelines of a council meeting for dialogue between the private sector and the government in Tehran on Monday. 

The meeting was attended by senior officials and representatives from both the government and private sectors, including Industry, Mining and Trade Minister Reza Rahmani, Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Farhad Dejpasand as well as Head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) Gholam-Hossein Shafeie.

Speaking to the press after the meeting, Dejpasand said “Following the president's order and considering the fact that reforming the banking system has become a top priority for the government, we set up a working group and by analyzing the past experiences developed a plan which is more focused on practicality.” 

According to the minister, the plan covers many areas including banks' privatization, private and public sector’s deferred debts to banks, increasing banks’ capital and adequacy, corporate governance, easing banks' frozen assets, and reforming the banks' internal management.

“In preparing this plan, we have consulted with the representatives of the private sector, and several academics, economists and consulting parties,” he said.

Last week, Dejpasand announced that a program for amending the country’s banking system has been prepared by the ministry and handed over to President Rouhani in late September.

Speaking in a meeting with the CEOs of government-owned banks, Dejpasand noted that the ministry was going to follow up on the provided solutions in the program through relevant authorities.

The official noted that government-owned banks were seriously following a program to relinquish their excess assets and subsidiaries and also reduce the number of branches in order to increase their cash reserves.

He further stressed that transparency, efficiency and sound management of banks' costs are all bound to the establishment of digital banking as well as the full and effective implementation of corporate governance.

“The Economy Ministry’s Deputy for Banking, Insurance and Government Corporate Affairs is going to rank banks in terms of corporate governance and digital banking deployment,” Dejpasand added.

Dejpasand also urged state banks to continue providing the necessary support to various economic sectors, especially the production sector, as before.

EF/MA

Photo: Industry, Mining and Trade Minister Reza Rahmani (1st L), Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Farhad Dejpasand (3rd L) and ICCIMA Head Gholam-Hossein Shafeie (2nd L) attended a council meeting for dialogue between private sector and government in Tehran on Monday.

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