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Standard Chartered reaches agreement with US regulators, pays 340m fine

Wednesday, August 15th 2012 - 08:57 UTC
Full article 5 comments
The bank allegedly hid Iran transactions for several years totalling 250bn dollars The bank allegedly hid Iran transactions for several years totalling 250bn dollars

Standard Chartered has agreed a 340 million dollars settlement with New York regulators that accused it of hiding 250bn of transactions with Iran. The hearing that had been scheduled for Wednesday has now been adjourned.

The British bank's chief executive Peter Sands has been in New York negotiating with the regulators. It had admitted that some of its transactions did break US sanctions, but said that the amount totalled just 14 million dollars.

”The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) and Standard Chartered Bank have reached an agreement to settle the matter raised in the DFS order dated August 6, 2012,“ a statement from the regulator's superintendent said.

”The parties have agreed that the conduct at issue involved transactions of at least 250bn dollars“.

A short statement from Standard Chartered simply confirmed a settlement of 340m had been reached.
”A formal agreement containing the detailed terms of the settlement is expected to be concluded shortly,“ it added. The bank also said it continued to ”engage constructively“ with other US authorities.

According to the terms of the settlement, Standard Chartered will pay a ”civil penalty“ of 340m to the DFS. It will also install a monitor for at least two years who will evaluate money-laundering controls at the bank's New York branch and report directly to the regulator.

”In addition, DFS examiners shall be placed on site at the bank,“ the statement said.

Finally, the settlement provided for permanent staff at the bank's New York office to audit any money-laundering controls.

The BBC New York business correspondent Mark Gregory said the 340m was a ”hefty penalty, but nothing like as hefty as it could have been“ if the two parties had not negotiated a settlement. The DFS had, for example, talked of revoking Standard Chartered New York banking licence.

Last week, New York's DFS alleged that the US unit of the bank had illegally hidden 60,000 transactions with Iran worth 250bn over nearly a decade. It accused the London-based bank of being a ”rogue institution“ for breaking US sanctions against Iran.

Mr Sands said at the time that he was ”completely surprised“ by the ferocity of the DFS's attack, which he described as ”disproportionate“.

He did, however, admit that 300 transactions did break US sanctions.

”This was clearly wrong and we are sorry that they happened,” Mr Sands said.

Top Comments

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  • Guzz

    340M fine for hiding 250B... That will teach them :)

    Aug 15th, 2012 - 12:40 pm 0
  • SussieUS

    Typical of british crooks!

    Aug 15th, 2012 - 06:00 pm 0
  • British_Kirchnerist

    For once I might be tentatively on the bankers' side...why shouldn't they do business with Iran just because America might want to bomb it at some point?!

    Aug 15th, 2012 - 06:38 pm 0
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