All Content

Tue, Oct 13, 2020

New sanctions on Iran’s banks: Crippling or more window dressing?

Policy actions like these are a continuation of a foreign policy toward Iran that appears characterized by spite rather than achievable policy ends.

IranSource by Brian O’Toole

Economic Sanctions Economy & Business

Tue, Sep 15, 2020

Don’t believe the SWIFT China sanctions hype

A major Chinese state-owned bank, the Bank of China (BOC), in July urged its banks to switch away from SWIFT toward a domestic messaging system because of the threat of US sanctions. Don’t take the warning at face value however, as Beijing’s primary motivation is to promote its own domestic system, rather than any real fear of a SWIFT cut-off.

New Atlanticist by Brian O’Toole

China Economic Sanctions

Fri, Sep 4, 2020

O’Toole quoted in The Moscow Times on US sanctions in response to Navalny’s poisoning

In the News

Economic Sanctions Europe & Eurasia

Brian O’Toole is a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s GeoEconomics Center. He is an accomplished expert on economic sanctions and foreign policy with substantial experience across public and private sectors.

Brian is the senior vice president and director of sanctions and screening at Truist Financial Corporation, the sixth-largest bank in the United States formed from the merger of BB&T and SunTrust. In that capacity, he oversees the corporation’s sanctions compliance efforts and politically exposed persons screening across the bank and its subsidiary businesses.

Previously, Brian worked at the US Department of the Treasury from 2009 to 2017. As senior adviser to the director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), he helped manage the implementation of all OFAC-administered economic and financial sanctions programs, and provided strategic direction of the internal management of the agency. He played a central role in designing the US sanctions regime in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and negotiating the multilateral sanctions imposed by the European Union and G7 in coordination with the United States. Brian also helped to manage implementation of US government commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran.

Prior to joining OFAC, Brian served as an illicit finance analyst for both the Treasury Department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis and at the Central Intelligence Agency, and was an anticorruption specialist in the forensic services practice at PwC.

Brian holds a BA from Princeton University in economics, with a certificate in finance, and an MA from Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in international economics and strategic studies. Brian lives and works in Raleigh, NC.