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748. May U.S. banks open and operate accounts for Cuban nationals present in Cuba?


Yes.  Section 515.584(h)(1) of the CACR contains a general license that allows banking institutions to open and maintain bank accounts in the United States solely in the name of a Cuban national located in Cuba, to receive payments in the United States for transactions authorized pursuant to, or exempt from the prohibitions of, the CACR and to remit such payments back to Cuba, including through an online payment platform.  For example, an author who is a Cuban national located in Cuba may open an account with a bank in the United States to receive payments for sales of their book.  Additionally, pursuant to 31 CFR § 515.584(h)(2), a U.S. banking institution may open and maintain an account solely in the name of a Cuban national who is an independent private sector entrepreneur (as defined in 31 CFR § 515.340) for the purpose of conducting authorized or exempt transactions (e.g., receipt of payment for the importation to the United States of certain goods and services produced by independent Cuban entrepreneurs pursuant to 31 CFR § 515.582 or payment related to authorized exports to Cuba under 31 CFR § 515.533), including through an online payment platform.  Pursuant to this authorization, independent private sector entrepreneurs — whether located in the United States, Cuba, or another country — can open and remotely access their account at a U.S. banking institution and conduct remote transfers, including to Cuba, as long as the underlying transaction is authorized or exempt.  For a complete description of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, see 31 CFR § 515.584(h)(2).

Updated: May 28, 2024

Date Released
September 6, 2019