15 Jan 2011

US banks to end foreign diplomatic accounts

6:53 am on 15 January 2011

More than 100 foreign diplomats have met United States government officials to express their concern about the decision of several US banks to close accounts for diplomatic missions.

JP Morgan Chase has become the latest to announce it is scrapping diplomatic accounts, leaving many United Nations missions scrambling to find an alternative.

The bank did not specify a reason for terminating the services but reports suggest it may be because monitoring the accounts has become too costly, the BBC says.

Regulations have been tightened since the 9/11 attacks in an effort to stop the flow of illegal foreign funds for crimes like financing terrorist acts.

Speaking after the briefing, a state department official Patrick Kennedy said missions had been given advice on alternative approaches they could take to obtain banking services.