Thursday, 9 August 2012

Dodgey Banking

Standard Chartered Accused Of Iran Transactions
 By The New York State Department Of Financial Services

British bank Standard Chartered has been accused of exposing the US to terrorists, drug kingpins and weapon dealers by hiding £161bn of transactions with the Iranian government.
Standard Chartered stands accused of being a “rogue institution” by the New York State Department of Financial Services, who accused them of leaving the US “vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes”.
The bank, one of the five largest in the UK by market value, kept around 60,000 transactions secret from US regulators over nearly 10 years, the New York State Department of Financial Services claimed in a report.
The report alleges that in 2006, in response to the head of the bank’s American operations warning about “reputational damage” from dealing with Iranian clients, an unnamed director is said to have replied: “You f****** Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with Iranians.”

According to the New York bank regulator Standard Chartered hid $250bn (£161bn) of transactions with Iran, which are prohibited due to sanctions, over the period between 2001-2010.

Standard Chartered now faces having its licence to bank in the US removed.
Shares in the bank have fallen sharply in response to the claims.
Its chief executive, Peter Sands, is known for opposing new regulations to curb the excesses of the financial sector, and had been suggested as a possible successor to Sir Mervyn King as governor of the Bank of England.
The bank, which employs nearly 90,000 people worldwide, has been called to appear before regulators to explain the apparent violations and defend its licence to trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
Standard Chartered said it strongly rejected the regulator's portrayal of facts. "The group is conducting a review of its historical US sanctions compliance and is discussing that review with US enforcement agencies and regulators.
"The group cannot predict when this review and these discussions will be completed or what the outcome will be."

The allegations come after a US Senate committee sensationally accused British banking giant HSBC of facilitating money laundering for drug king pins, rogue states and terrorists.
The US Senate Homeland Security Sub Committee on Investigations accused HSBC of, among other suspect activities, providing services to some lenders in Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh believed to have helped fund al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.