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Standard Chartered settles laundering charges in NY for 340 million dollars

08-15-2012 06:22 BJT

NEW YORK, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Standard Chartered PLC on Tuesday agreed to pay New York's top banking regulator 340 million dollars to settle a week-long regulatory case with charges that the British bank had laundered hundreds of billions of dollars for Iran.

"The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) and Standard Chartered Bank have reached an agreement to settle the matters raised in the DFS Order dated Aug. 6, 2012. The parties have agreed that the conduct at issue involved transactions of at least 250 billion dollars," Benjamin M. Lawsky, head of the DFS, said in a statement.

The fifth largest British bank in assets reached the settlement eight days after Lawsky accused it of illegally scheming over a decade to hide more than 60,000 financial transactions for Iranian clients.

As part of the settlement, the bank will install a monitor chosen by Lawsky's office for at least two years to evaluate the money-laundering risk controls of its New York branch and take corrective measures. Additionally, Standard Chartered agreed to permanently install personnel within its New York branch to oversee and audit any offshore money-laundering due diligence and monitoring undertaken by the bank.

With this agreement, Standard Chartered would keep its operating license in New York, which Lawsky threatened to revoke on Aug. 6 while releasing the charges.

A hearing that was scheduled for Wednesday at the New York regulator's office in Manhattan was canceled.

Four other U.S. regulators that also probed the bank's transactions, namely the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, the Justice Department and the Manhattan District Attorney's office, weren't involved in Tuesday's settlement.

Following the DFS charges on Aug. 6, Standard Chartered had responded by saying that the regulator's allegations were factually incorrect. Instead of the alleged 250 billion dollars, the bank maintained that only about 14 million dollars of transactions were found improper during the decade under review.

The regulatory drama drew more fire when British politicians joined in and accused the U.S. regulator of seeking to undermine London's status as a global financial center.



Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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