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Santander Denies Allegations of Allowing Iranian Entities to Bank, Citing Thorough Investigation

Updated: Feb 19

Santander has adamantly rebuffed accusations of allowing Iranian government entities to conduct banking activities with the institution, following a meticulous internal inquiry that revealed no breaches of sanctions.

Santander Denies Allegations of Allowing Iranian Entities to Bank, Citing Thorough Investigation

The bank's response comes on the heels of a report by the Financial Times on February 4, 2024, which linked a Santander account to a front company purportedly affiliated with the Iranian regime. Juan Manuel Cendoya, Santander's Global head of Communications, Corporate Marketing & Research, delivered the statement, emphasizing the exhaustive nature of the investigation into the allegations and the circumstances surrounding the identified account.

"We have conducted a thorough investigation into the allegations and the circumstances related to the opening and use of the account referenced in the article, as well as connected individuals. Thus, we can state categorically that Santander has not found any breach by it of U.S. sanctions against Iran in connection with these allegations," the statement asserted.

In recognition of the gravity of the allegations, Santander stressed the imperative of providing a resolute response, citing legal and reputational considerations.


To address customer concerns, Santander provided detailed guidance to its staff, delineating key points for communication. These encompassed insights into the standard screening protocols employed for the account, elucidation regarding the ownership structure of the associated business, and specifics surrounding the closure of the account in 2022.

Moreover, Santander underscored that it had conducted an extensive review, scrutinizing other individuals and entities referenced in the article, with no instances of sanctions breaches identified elsewhere in its global operations.

The bank further emphasized its proactive engagement with regulatory authorities in the UK and US before the article's publication, as well as ongoing communication to keep them apprised. It reaffirmed its steadfast commitment to compliance with all pertinent sanctions regimes, expressing unwavering confidence in its adherence to regulations on both domestic and international fronts.

"As a global bank, Santander is acutely aware of its obligation to comply with all relevant sanctions regimes. In this case, both in the UK and across our global banking operations, we are confident that we did that," Santander's statement concluded.

Santander's robust response underscores its dedication to transparency, thorough investigation, and adherence to regulatory frameworks amid allegations of sanctions violations.



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