Banks Face Scrutiny Over Myanmar Ties

Photo: AFP/Getty Images [via Myanmar Now]

The Facts

  • Leaked documents, obtained and published online by self-described transparency collective Distributed Denial of Secrets, indicate that major international banks have continued to do business with Myanmar's military-owned Innwa Bank after the 2021 military takeover.

  • Australia's ANZ and Singapore's UOB banks are among those that have transacted with the lender even after its parent company Myanmar Economic Corporation was sanctioned by the US, the UK, and the EU in response to alleged human rights violations committed by the military junta.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

As some nations have yet to impose sanctions on Myanmar's military junta, a few banks like ANZ and UOB remain legally allowed to transact with it. The West has and should keep building hurdles to increase reputational risks for those who insist on maintaining relations with the country's terrorism-funding regime.

Establishment-critical narrative

While some claim that financial sanctions won't affect humanitarian assistance in Myanmar, it's evident that the country's people will suffer the most from it. The economy has already faced a dire situation and being added to the Financial Action Task Force's blacklist can only shrink foreign investments, job opportunities, and trade.

Establishment split



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