NY: Standard Chartered hid huge Iran trade

2012-08-06 19:10

New York - Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) was accused on Monday by New York state regulators of hiding $250bn in allegedly illegal transactions with Iran for almost a decade.

The regulators accused the London-based global bank of "systematic misconduct" which might have allowed terrorists and criminals to gain access to the country's banking system.

New York's Department of Financial Services threatened Standard Chartered with fines and possible suspension of its license to operate in the state, the hub of the US financial industry, if it could not explain the transactions which allegedly violated US sanctions on Iran.

The bank was ordered to appear before the department on August 15 "to explain these apparent violations of law and to demonstrate why SCB's license to operate in the State of New York should not be revoked."

"For almost ten years, SCB schemed with the Government of Iran and hid from regulators roughly 60 000 secret transactions, involving at least $250bn, and reaping SCB hundreds of millions of dollars in fees."

The transactions involved major state-owned Iranian banks including the country's central bank.

The regulator said Standard Chartered falsified records and obstructed oversight "in its evident zeal to make hundreds of millions of dollars at almost any cost."

The transactions "left the US financial system vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes, and deprived law enforcement investigators of crucial information used to track all manner of criminal activity," it said.

The department said its investigation into the bank's also included evidence of possible illegal transactions with Libya, Myanmar and Sudan while those countries were under US sanctions.

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  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-06 20:20

    Principles over profits. Those that prefer profits, will see these cut. Maybe then they'll get it.

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-07 04:21

    The South African government has been shockingly irresponsible and unprincipled in allowing a company that it licenses (MTN) to do business with the most oppressive governments in the world (Syria and Iran). After all we went through in Apartheid this is awful.

      Fidel - 2012-08-09 09:30

      Rubbish, how many governments do business with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies, which are far worse than Iran.

  • piet.boerie - 2012-08-07 06:24

    The Banking industry needs massive regualtion and those that breaak the laws need to be jailed. They are now destryoing the worlds economies with the countries that have the tighest control over the Banking sectors, China and Germany for example, have stable and growing economies. Libor Rate fixing of billions of dollars: Barclays, Deutsche Bank and more than a dozen other financial giants. Gold and Silver price fixing: Bank of Nova Scotia, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Société Gé*érale and Barclays are now been investigated. British Government calls on regulator to investigate petrol price rigging HSBC(HSBC has reported a profit before tax of £8.09bn and underlying pre-tax profit of £6.75bn for first half of 2012) is now been investigated for the largest money laundering scandal in history. JPMorgan Chase & Co are been investigated and Irvin Goldman has resigned. That is the tip of the iceberg. Investigations are running in just about every country into the Banking industry. Why are politicians scared? Well the Reserve Banks are private banks that print our money, simplistic but true if you cut out the BS.

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