Bank Sepah (Persian: بانک سپه), the first Iranian bank, was established in 1925 (corresponding to 1304 in the Iranian Calendar); its first branch, in Rasht, opened that year. The bank also has branches in Frankfurt, Paris and Rome as well as a wholly owned subsidiary, Bank Sepah International plc which operates in London. "Sepah" is the poetic Persian rendering for "Army". The Bank was named so because its opening capital was provided by the Army Pension Fund.
Bank Sepah Coin Museum was established in 1963 and features an invaluable treasure reflecting the periods of Iranian history dating back to over 2500 years ago. The museum is also of international significance given the multiethnic nature of the Iranian ruling elites over time.
Sanctions were imposed on Bank Sepah by the United States on January 9, 2007 due to Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program. The United States claimed that the bank assisted Iran in developing missiles that could carry nuclear weapons.  and all its branches and subsidiaries in Italy, UK, France and Germany  will have their assets frozen by the United States in order to prevent Iran from constructing nuclear weapons. The official website  of Bank Sepah in Iran reacted by mentioning the American resolution "fabricated statements based on purely hypothetical pretext, made out of political inducements" and promised that the bank will "continue with its efficient performance with due observance of internal and international regulations as before."
On the same basis, further sanctions have also been imposed by the United Nations through Resolution 1747 of 29 March 2007 coinciding with the arrest by the Iranian Government of some British army personnel in the Persian Gulf.
The Italian Central Bank on 30 March 2007 followed up on these sanctions by stopping its activities.  These sanctions were lifted on 21 December 2008.