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INTERSHORES I UOB Singapore Will Tighten Restrictions on Myanmar Business From 1 September 2023

UOB, Singapore is cutting off counterparts in Myanmar, ending correspondent bank relationships in a move that could have a significant impact on the military regime’s access to the global financial system.


The bank sent a confidential notes to Myanmar banks in August 2023 stating it will :

  • restrict all incoming and outgoing payments to and from Myanmar accounts,
  • toughen curbs on card (Visa and Mastercard) transactions for Myanmar individuals and banks
  • close Myanmar banks’ nostro accounts at its Hong Kong branch. Nostro accounts are foreign currency accounts banks hold at overseas counterparts to facilitate trade.


The move is to curb offshore banking and financial services for Myanmar’s military regime whilst UOB Singapore is known as the offshore bank of choice for Myanmar’s generals, big corporations and wealthy individuals, as well as many international organizations and foreign investors, including those who run Myanmar operations from Singapore.


It is expected that UOB’s decision could have a significant impact as there is a high reliance on UOB by Myanmar’s banking and business sector.   It is anticipated that other banks such as OCBC and DBS in Singapore will follow suit.


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