The Straits Times
Published on Feb 23, 2013

United States eases sanctions on Myanmar banks


WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States (US) relaxed sanctions on four large banks in Myanmar on Friday, allowing them access to the US financial system as a reward for the country's political reforms.

The Treasury Department issued a general license to the Myanma Economic Bank, Myanmar Investment and Commercial Bank, Asia Green Development Bank and Ayeyarwady Bank.

A general license eases restrictions and lets the banks deal with US citizens and companies, but leaves sanctions laws on the books, giving Washington leverage should Myanmar start to backslide on reforms.

"Increased access to Burma's banking system for our companies and non-governmental organisations will help to facilitate Burma's continued social and economic development," said Mr David Cohen, the Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.