European banks hesitate on Iran, wary of US fines

Western companies have been rushing into Iran for a part of post-sanctions business action but European banks, still reeling from punitive US fines over links to the country, are waiting on the sidelines until they feel it is safe to do business with Tehran. France has already hailed a new era after welcoming Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who sealed a host of post-sanctions deals last week. But when it comes to high finance, there is hesitation, at least on the part of European banks. The hefty fines levied on these financial institutions during the sanctions has made them particularly wary. European banks are not only confronted with potential sanctions risks, but also other exposure points under international banking regulations and practices.