Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Bank to pay extra £200m over Iran

Standard Chartered will pay another 327 million dollars over allegations it breached sanctions with Iran

Scandal-hit Standard Chartered will pay a further 327 million US dollars (£203 million) to settle allegations that it breached sanctions with Iran.

The bank was accused by regulators in August of exposing the United States to terrorists and drug kingpins by hiding 250 billion US dollars (£160 billion) of transactions with Tehran.

The bank has already paid 340 million US dollars (£211 million) to New York's Department of Financial Services (DFS) to settle the claims.

In the latest settlements it will pay 100 million US dollars (£62 million) to the US Federal Reserve and 227 million US dollars (£141 million) to the US Justice Department and the New York District Attorney.

Standard, which employs nearly 90,000 people worldwide and sponsors Liverpool Football Club, was initially threatened with losing its licence to operate within New York state.

In an explosive legal order, DFS superintendent Benjamin Lawsky said: "In short, Standard Chartered Bank operated as a rogue institution."

Standard, between January 2001 and 2010, moved 60,000 transactions through its New York branch that were subject to US economic sanctions, and then covered up the dealings, the financial watchdog claimed.

Institutions included the Central Bank of Iran as well as Bank Saderat and Bank Melli, both of which are also Iranian state-owned.

The US suspects that the Gulf state was using its banks to finance "terrorist groups" such as Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The bank has no UK branches but is headquartered in London, a key hub for its wholesale banking business.

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