Sanctions issues for banks and humanitarian agencies

The crisis in Syria prompted the UK’s largest ever response to a humanitarian crisis, but despite the millions of pounds donated, money is having to overcome many hurdles to reach those in need. Over £23 million has been raised by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) in response to the conflict, with the UK Government committing a further £500 million to support aid efforts, but extensive sanctions and risk management issues are creating complex problems for the UK banks and humanitarian agencies as both struggle to get help through to Syrian families.

In response to this problem the DEC, British Bankers Association (BBA), and international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, have launched guidance for agencies on how to keep any financial transactions lawful and carefully managed so that money gets through to the intended destination. These new practical recommendations have been developed to ensure that NGOs and banks work in close dialogue as they face a range of legal, regulatory and licensing challenges. Download the full report via here.