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The Effects of Sanctions on the Lending Policy and the Value of International Banks: the Case of Iran


  • Hundt Steffen
  • Horsch Andreas

    (Investment & Finance, Technische Universitat Bergakademie Freiberg, Freiberg, Germany)


After being in force for several years, sanctions against Iran were partly lifted on 16 January 2016, reopening business options for the financial industry. This paper investigates whether a breach of internationally imposed economic sanctions had a negative impact on the value of a bank that decided to implicitly or explicitly violate those sanctions. Using event study methodology, our analysis provides evidence that a breach of Iran-related sanctions by foreign banks caused considerable wealth reductions for their shareholders who finally bear the corresponding fining-costs. The results also show that bank shareholders do not perceive the lifting of sanctions as being good news, implying that they lost faith in their bank’s ability to establish a sufficient compliance and due diligence system for Iran-related transactions. Finally, the study shows that the announced fining for a breach of sanctions does not induce spillover effects to non-fined banks. Thus, the study provides important insights on reasons of the current shortage of foreign lending toward Iran.

Suggested Citation

  • Hundt Steffen & Horsch Andreas, 2018. "The Effects of Sanctions on the Lending Policy and the Value of International Banks: the Case of Iran," Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, De Gruyter, vol. 14(3), pages 1-13, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:rmeecf:v:14:y:2018:i:3:p:13:n:2
    DOI: 10.1515/rmeef-2018-0010

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    More about this item


    Iran; compliance; sanction; credit crunch; event study; abnormal returns;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill


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