Standard Chartered hits back over regulator’s terror claims
Not a single Iranian payment came from a terrorist entity, banking group claims.
Standard Chartered has rejected how it has been portrayed by the New York State Department of Financial Services over allegations that it hid transactions with Iran and left “the US financial system vulnerable to terrorists”.
In a statement published on the London Stock Exchange this morning, the embattled banking group defended accusations by the New York state regulator that it had hidden up to $250bn of transactions with Iran.
The regulator says in an order: “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.
“SCB’s actions 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.”
Further down the statement, the regulator accuses Standard Chartered of falsifying business records, failing to keep accurate books and obstructing government administration among other misdeeds.
However, SCB has responded that the order does not present “a full and accurate picture of the facts”.
It claims that in January 2010 the group voluntarily approached US agencies including the DFS to tell them it had launched a review of its transactions and compliance with sanctions.
The group continued: “The analysis, that the group shared with all the US agencies, demonstrates that throughout the period the group acted to comply, and overwhelmingly did comply, with US sanctions and the regulations relating to U-turn payments.
“As we have disclosed to the authorities, well over 99.9 per cent of the transactions relating to Iran complied with the U-turn regulations. The total value of transactions which did not follow the U-turn was under $14m.”
It adds that not a single Iranian payment came from a party designated at the time as a terrorist entity or organisation.