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March 17, 2016

MasterCard receives violation notice from US Treasury for Iran bank accounts

MasterCard has received a violation notice from the US Department of Treasury for failing to report credit card accounts at two Iranian banks- Bank Melli and Bank Saderat- that were allegedly involved with terrorists or weapons of mass destruction.

By Verdict Staff

MasterCard has received a violation notice from the US Department of Treasury for failing to report credit card accounts at two Iranian banks- Bank Melli and Bank Saderat- that were allegedly involved with terrorists or weapons of mass destruction.

In 2007, the two lenders were put on a list, which bars US entities from dealing with them.

According to a statement from the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the payments firm had already restricted accounts at the two banks’ by that time owing to the sanctions imposed on Iran by the US in 1995, though it did not report the accounts as blocked.

"MasterCard’s failure to properly block and report these accounts to OFAC resulted in OFAC’s reports to Congress and responses to other inquiries related to blocked property being incomplete, which could have had a negative impact on U.S. government decision-making;MasterCard’s failure to properly record interest on the accounts reduced the value of blocked assets available to the Congress and the President; and MasterCard’s OFAC compliance program appears to have lacked internal controls that would have prevented, or later identified the oversight of, the violations," OFAC said.

The accounts remained dormant and the funds in the accounts never reached any sanctioned organizations or individuals, OFAC said. MasterCard wasn’t fined for the violation.

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