Standard Chartered Hit With Fines Over Payments
Standard Chartered bank has agreed to pay £203m to settle federal charges it laundered money on behalf of four countries - including Iran - that were subject to US economic sanctions.
Federal authorities say the forfeiture is part of a deferred prosecution agreement with both the Justice Department and the Manhattan district attorney's office.
The deal covers currency transactions made at the bank's New York branch for Iranian, Sudanese, Libyan and Burmese entities from 2001 through 2007.
Assistant US Attorney General Lanny Breuer said: "For years, Standard Chartered Bank deliberately violated US laws governing transactions involving Sudan, Iran and other countries subject to US sanctions.
"The United States expects a minimum standard of behaviour from all financial institutions that enjoy the benefits of the US financial system. Standard Chartered's conduct was flagrant and unacceptable."
The bank says a review found about £82.7m ($133m) processed for the four countries through its New York branch, which handled £86.5trn) ($139trn) overall during those years.
In a statement it said: "The settlements are the product of an extensive internal investigation that led the bank voluntarily to report its findings concerning past sanctions compliance to these US authorities, and nearly three years of intensive cooperation with regulators and prosecutors.
"In the more than five years since the events giving rise to today's settlements, the bank has completed a comprehensive review and upgrade of its compliance systems and procedures."
US authorities allege the bank illegally told a customer in a sanctioned country to mask transactions by substituting the London bank's unique code in wire payment messages and deleting data that would have revealed the involvement of sanctioned entities and countries.
The conduct occurred in Standard Chartered business units around the world, primarily in London and Dubai, "with the knowledge and approval of senior corporate managers and the legal and compliance departments," the Justice Department said.
In August, New York's Department of Financial Services announced a £211.6m ($340m) settlement with Standard Chartered to resolve its investigation into whether the British bank schemed with the Iranian government to launder money from 2001 to 2007 through its New York branch.