Analysis and Commentary on Money Laundering and Financial Crime
Thursday, November 1, 2012
RAISE COUNTRY RISK ON AUSTRIA FOR TRADING WITH IRAN
It seems that, no matter how loud the financial media trumpet the ongoing connections between major Austrian banks and Iran, it is not having any impact upon the Government of Austria. Recent articles have exposed multiple trips, by the head of a sanctioned Iranian government agency to Vienna, to upcoming visits, by Austrian leaders to Iran, and to allegations that Austria has become an important sanctions evasion location for Iran, to rival Iraq and the UAE.
If Austria would rather act as if it is business as usual, it is up to the compliance officer to act accordingly. Review the recent information, make your own informed judgment call, but my advice is to raise Country Risk on Austria at this time. I am seeing far too many current connections for comfort.
What really troubles me is that there is no indication that Austrian law enforcement agencies, its FIU, or its intelligence services, are actively investigating. What are they waiting for ?