Bank of Ireland stops transfers to Cuba due to US embargo
Bank says is cannot process transactions because of relationship with US
Mon, Aug 25, 2014, 01:04
Irish people trying to use an Irish bank to transfer money to people
living in Cuba are
being blocked from doing so as a result of a United States embargo on
the Caribbean country which has been in place for more than 50 years.
Although neither the Republic nor the EU has any restrictions on trade
with Cuba, and despite the UN General Assembly passing resolutions
condemning the embargo, Bank of Ireland has started to block all
financial transfers in recent weeks because of a business relationship
with a US bank.
Under the US trade embargo, which has been in place since Fidel Castro
overthrew a pro-US regime in the early 1960s, Americans banks are
forbidden from processing payments from Cuba or even facilitating the
making or receiving of such payments.
While such transfers are commonplace in other jurisdictions – and are
still permitted by other Irish banks – Bank of Ireland has changed its
rules on such transfers since the introduction of the Single European
Payment Area (Sepa) and is now refusing to process them.
In a statement the bank confirmed it would no longer facilitate the
transfers, and said it depended on overseas banks for the processing of
national, European and international transactions under the Sepa umbrella.
“As it happens, [the bank which processes] all Sepa transactions is a
leading US bank who must comply with its own regulatory requirements and
obligations and to avoid a possible exposure to regulatory sanctions and
penalties,” a spokeswoman said.
Because of this the bank says it is “not in a position to process such
The national co-ordinator of Cuba Support group Simon McGuinness said:
“On the one hand we have the EU voting as a single bloc against the
blockade and on the other they introduced financial regulations which
Source: Bank of Ireland stops transfers to Cuba due to US embargo –