Iran to crack down on unlicensed financial institutes

Iran to crack down on unlicensed financial institutes

Tehran, Iran, June 21

By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

Iranian Judiciary spokesman Qolamhossein Mohseni Ejei said there are hundreds of unlicensed credit institutions, interest-free funds, credit unions, leasing companies, and currency exchange offices which will face legal actions if continue to operate without necessary legal documents.

Speaking at a press conference where he gave a report on the Judiciary's performance in the past Iranian calendar year (which ended March 20), Ejei said that of nine credit institutions now active in Iran, only three have the legal permissions.

He said that while 145 cooperative companies are operating under license, 590 of others are not, Iran newspaper reported June 21.

There are also 33 licensed leasing companies, 74 other are acquiring permits, while 300 other have no permit, he said.

According to the official, there are 428 licensed currency exchange offices, 300 others are undergoing legal procedures to get licenses, and 1000 others neither have a license nor have applied for one.

Financial institutions have increased in number in Iran in recent years. The president of the Central Bank of Iran had earlier said that one fourth of Iran's banking activities go without supervision by the central bank.

Some economists believe that lack of transparent laws and supervision on such institutions is one of the reasons counting for the turbulence prevailing Iran's economy in the past decade.

The Iranian Parliament last month launched an inquiry which intended to boost the central bank's supervision over financial institutions.

Big outstanding debts are another financial problem in Iran. Last year the outstanding debts of the Iranian banks amounted to 820 trillion rials (over $28 billion).

Ejei has said that the number of big time debtors in Iran has lowered from 575 to 217.

He said that 40 trillion rials ($1.4 billion) has been received through the Registration of Deeds and Properties Organization.

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