Banking Law

British Bank Agrees to $340M Deal to Settle Laundering Claim

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British bank Standard Chartered has struck a deal to pay $340 million to New York’s top banking regulator to settle claims that it laundered billions of dollars for Iran and lied to regulators.

The New York Times reports that the agreement is a victory the 10-month-old New York Department of Financial Services and its head Benjamin M. Lawsky, who the paper says took the bank on alone, accusing it of hiding 60,000 transactions worth $250 billion from regulators.

While the $340 million settlement is huge or a state regulator, the Times points out that it’s middle of the road for collective settlements reached by the Justice Department and the Manhattan district attorney with other global banks. And there are federal authorities worried that the deal could undercut a deal the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department are trying to reach with Standard Chartered.

The settlement came after the New York Department of Financial Services threatened to revoke Standard Charter’s banking license.

Although the bank had earlier contested many of the allegations, it acknowledged that the fine covers the transactions that the Department of Financial Services alleged were illegal, the Wall Street Journal reports. Language is still being hammered out, but the bank will reportedly acknowledge misconduct related to the alleged $250 billion in transactions.

The Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation are also investigating the bank’s actions relating to Iran.

Also see:

Guardian: “Standard Chartered shares rise as US regulator drops licence threat: Bank’s shares up 3% despite agreement to pay $340m fine over allegations it breached sanctions”

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