Iran has issued licences for 5 foreign banks

Published on: 09/06/2017

According to the Central Bank of Iran, 40 registered banks and credit institutions operate in Iran which there are five foreign banks among the active banks’ list.


These licenced foreign banks which mostly located in Tehran and Kish Free Trade Zone, are as follows:

·         Hamburg-based Iranian-European Bank

·         Standard Chartered PLC

·         Iran-Venezuela Bi-National Bank

·         Islamic Cooperation Investment Bank

·         Future Bank


Hamburg-based Iranian-European Bank

Europaisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG (eihbank), headquartered in Hamburg with branches in Tehran and Kish Island since 2005 as an affiliate to Iran’s Bank of Industry and Mine, is the first active foreign lender in Iran. eihbank provides banking services to its clients and business partners in Germany, Iran and all over the world.

The bank had founded on 1970 with the aim of trade between Europe and Iran. However, due to the international sanctions, banking activities had been stopped for five years. After lifting of sanctions on January 2016, the bank launched its operation.

Since 2008, Tehran representative office of Hamburg-based Iranian-European Bank has started to operate as an independent branch.

Standard Chartered PLC

Standard Chartered PLC, a British international banking and financial organization, had launched Iran branch on February 2006 in Kish free trade zone island. The bank headquartered in London and its broad network is consisting of 1,200 branches and offices in Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe.

Through its worldwide branches, subsidiaries, associates and joint venture partners in 70 countries and approximately 87,000 employees, the Standard Chartered PLC offers banking and treasury services to individuals, corporates and institutes.

Iran-Venezuela Bi-National Bank

Iran-Venezuela Bi-National Bank is the first Bi-National bank of Iran which has been established in 2010 with $200 million capital as a joint venture between Banco Industrial de Venezuela and the Export Development Bank of Iran.

IVBB launched with the aim of improvement of commercial interactions and investments in the markets of Iran, Venezuela and Latin America.

The bank has one branch in Tehran. However, due to the long geographical distance between Iran and Venezuela and high cost of transactions, two countries have no commercial interactions. For this reason, Iran is intending to sell part of its share in IVBB.

Islamic Cooperation Investment Bank

Islamic Cooperation Investment Bank has launched its branch in Tehran since last year with the purpose of expanding banking interactions between Iran and Iraq and following the Bank Keshavarzi’s investment in the bank.

The bank has founded in 2006, in Iraq, as a private lender. Currently it has 11 branches in Baghdad, Karbala, Najaf, Sulaymaniyah and Tehran.

Future Bank

According to the bank website, it was established on the 1st of July, 2004 as a Joint Venture Project between three highly reputed financial institutions - Bank Saderat Iran, Bank Melli Iran, and Ahli United Bank (AUB) Bahrain, with a strategic vision of becoming a unified entity which incorporates the strengths of all three of its constituents. 

The bank's major shareholders are members of a vast global network within the GCC, European and Far Eastern markets, effectively extending their reach beyond the bank's regional footprint. 

Future bank is an entirely commercial lender which headquartered in Manama and is approved by the Central bank of Bahrain.


Shanda Consult through its excellent network in Iran, cooperates with several Iranian banks and participates in many projects, co-managed by banks in Iran. 

Shanda Consult assists in the preparation of proposals, execution of applications and licencing procedures for different purposes such as acquisition of foreign banks or establishment of branch in another country.

Please feel free to contact us for any consultation regarding your business investment needs.