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US banks and money-transfer firms tread carefully in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan

Two major U.S. money-transfer services have suspended payments into Afghanistan, and American banks are more closely scrutinizing transactions with Afghan counterparts, as they await clarity on whether U.S. sanctions on the Taliban apply across the nation now that the Islamist group is in control.

The result could deepen the country’s financial crisis in the near term and, if sanctions apply more broadly to any business dealings with the Taliban-controlled nation, Afghanistan could join North Korea and Iran as pariahs in the international financial system.

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