Awards for Excellence 2008: Iran
Best bank: EN Bank
Iran’s biggest banks, which are state owned, are coming under increasing pressure because of US financial sanctions.
Private-sector Iranian banks have been able to take advantage of this, particularly in trade finance and foreign exchange. They are also benefiting from the general growth of the private sector in Iran, and from foreign involvement in the oil and gas industry.
Private banks, which were first awarded licences in the mid-1990s, can find it difficult to gain business, for example, in government projects and in some of the day-to-day transactions Iranian citizens must carry out with the state.
But private-sector banks have attracted business by offering, for example, better deposit rates, internet banking and accessible ATMs.
EN Bank, one of the foremost private institutions, has a far smaller volume of deposits than the biggest public sector banks.