Thu 27 Sep 2012
Filed under: Business / Trade,International,News
The U.S. Treasury Department lifted sanctions against two Myanmar banks on Wednesday, amid a thawing of relations between the U.S. and the East Asian country.
Treasury pulled sanctions against the Myanmar Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank Wednesday. The move was largely symbolic as the banks no longer exist.
The move comes one day after Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi called for the U.S. to lift all sanctions during a 17-day tour of Burmese communities in the U.S. American officials have gradually eased sanctions against individuals and institutions in Myanmar over the last year, opening the country to greater U.S. investment.
On Wednesday, Treasury’s repository of financial data, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, repealed an April 2004 rule that required certain U.S. financial institutions to take special measures directed at the Myanmar Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank, which were country’s largest banks at the time. Fincen also withdrew a November 2003 identification of these banks as financial institutions of primary money laundering concern.
Fincen had previously said that individuals owning and controlling both banks were linked to illicit financial activities.
“These financial institutions no longer exist and thus pose no further threat to financial systems,” the department said in a news release. “The Treasury Department looks forward to collaborating with the Government of Burma on mutual issues of concern to combat international money laundering and the financing of terrorism.”