Geopolitics, sanctions weigh on Dubai consumer banking

Geopolitics have a growing weight on consumer banking in Dubai because it is the Middle East's banking centre and geographically close to major countries targeted by sanctions. In theory, as long as money does not have criminal links or belong to people or companies directly targeted by international sanctions, banks should be able to accept it. But in practice, the costs of checking that rules are obeyed have become so high that banks are turning down some deposits in advance. The costs of regulatory compliance could slow Dubai's banking growth. Especially Syrian, Iranian and U.S. citizens are being affected by this concern.

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