Commuters walk past the Bank of England in London, Britain, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
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Iran has asked the Bank of England to set up special clearing accounts for its banks, but has so far been rebuffed in its effort to resolve an impasse that has left it excluded from banking in London more than a year after sanctions were lifted.Banking sources from both Iran and the West, and Iranian political sources close to the talks, said Tehran has approached the Bank of England to seek clearing accounts directly with the U.K. central bank.Such accounts, for Iran's own Central Bank or for the British subsidiaries of Iranian banks, would allow them to make and receive payments in sterling, business so far rejected by commercial banks.It says Britain in particular, given its large capital markets, should do more to ensure Iranian banks operating there legally are treated fairly.The U.K. government, eager to boost trade with new markets like Iran after last year's vote to leave the European Union, has struggled to convince British banks to boost trade with Iran, sources have told Reuters.In addition to concern over the remaining U.S. sanctions, banks are wary of business with Iran because of the high cost of ensuring that any transactions comply with rules.
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