Bank of Baghdad to open in Mosul

Story and photos by Sgt. Chad Menegay
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

MOSUL, Iraq — In an effort to decrease the use of U.S. currency and stabilize the Iraqi economy, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, commander of U.S. Forces – Iraq, has directed leadership on all enduring bases in Iraq to solicit, select and establish Iraqi banks on their installations.

In accordance, Maj. Tommie Stevens, Contingency Operating Base Marez/Diamondback, Iraq mayor and executive officer with the Regional Fires Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Sherwood, Tenn., native, came to an agreement with Leila Anan Yeyia, executive manager for the Bank of Baghdad board, June 22 at COB Marez.

“This is an effort to reduce the amount of dollars that the United States has got floating around here in Iraq and to strengthen the Iraqi dinar,” Stevens said. “It’s important for Iraq to strengthen its currency.”

The Bank of Baghdad, a U.S. Treasury approved bank that operates 25 branches across the country, chose a pre-existing building at COB Diamondback to renovate. The location is near the Mosul International Airport.

“Once the (Hercules Engineering Solutions Consortium) barriers and ‘T-walls’ are removed, it will be a very well-placed location for that bank to operate for the citizens of Mosul,” Stevens said.

Yeyia said it might take only a couple months to open the bank’s doors to the COB Marez/Diamondback public.

“The bank opening will create jobs,” she said. “There will be a lot of people involved in this facility. This is an opportunity for the economy to grow in the city of Mosul,” Yeyia said.

Stevens said the bank will give the the local nationals and foreign nationals the opportunities to make safe deposits, electronic funds transfers, electronically wire money home, open lines of credit, buy goods and electronically sell those goods.

“In Iraq we have a huge problem in how we manage our cash flow,” Yeyia said. “The facilitation of credit to vendors and local people is important, as are ATMs, EFTs, and point of sale devices. We use these systems to ensure the security of money. To facilitate the cash flow and economy of Iraq is one of the most needed things to do in our country.”

Stevens said there is no doubt that the opening of this bank will have an impact on stabilizing Iraq.

“I care how this benefits the citizens of Mosul,” Stevens said. “I think any Soldier who serves the U.S. military cares about what our initiatives are, what our goals are, what we’re doing here. I think strengthening the Iraqi dinar is very important for the stability of Iraq. Everything we do at this point is to strengthen the government and people of Iraq, to get them unified and get that national identity back that they need to exist as a country.”

 

news photo
Maj. Tommie Stevens (right), Contingency Operating Base Marez/Diamondback mayor and executive officer with the Regional Fires Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Sherwood, Tenn., native; Leila Anan Yeyia (left), executive manager for the Bank of Baghdad board; and Nouri Razi Muhammad, a branch manager with the bank, discuss the opening of a new Bank of Baghdad branch June 22 at COB Marez, Iraq. The group came to an agreement to open a bank on COB Diamondback. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Chad Menegay)

news photo
Leila Anan Yeyia (from left), executive manager for the Bank of Baghdad board; Nouri Razi Muhammad, a branch manager with the bank; and Maj. Tommie Stevens, Contingency Operating Base Marez/Diamondback mayor and executive officer with the Regional Fires Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Sherwood, Tenn., native, discuss the opening of a new Bank of Baghdad branch June 22 at COB Marez, Iraq. The group came to an agreement to open a bank on COB Diamondback. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Chad Menegay)

news photo
Maj. Tommie Stevens (right), Contingency Operating Base Marez/Diamondback mayor and executive officer with the Regional Fires Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Sherwood, Tenn., native, leads a group around COB Diamondback to examine possible locations for a new Bank of Baghdad branch June 22 at COB Diamondback, Iraq. The group came to an agreement to open a bank on COB Diamondback in the next few months. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Chad Menegay)