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Standard Chartered to pay $340 million in money-laundering case

August 14, 2012|By Andrew Tangel
  • British banking giant Standard Chartered has agreed to pay $340 million to settle an investigation by New York state regulators.
British banking giant Standard Chartered has agreed to pay $340 million… (Sang Tan / Associated Press )

British banking giant Standard Chartered has agreed to fork over $340 million to settle an investigation by New York state regulators.

New York's Department of Financial Services announced the settlement, which includes an agreement that the bank's transactions with Iranian clients in question totaled at least $250 billion.

Under the settlement, Standard Chartered will install for at least two years a monitor to keep tabs on the bank's efforts to root out money laundering. The DFS will also install examiners at the bank.

The DFS, headed by Benjamin Lawsky, reportedly roiled federal regulators looking into Standard Chartered by filing an order against the bank last week.

In announcing the settlement Tuesday, Lawsky said in a statement: "We will continue to work with our federal and state partners on this matter."

Standard Chartered stood accused of concealing thousands of prohibited transactions with Iran. U.S. government rules tightly restrict transactions with countries like Sudan and North Korea to keep money from flowing to terrorists, drug cartels or hostile regimes.

The bank's New York license was on the line, but a hearing set for Wednesday was canceled.

The Department of Financial Services' order cited a bank executive's colorful alleged statement on the topic of American sanctions that restrict financial transactions.

"You ... Americans," the DFS order quoted one executive saying. "Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we're not going to deal with Iranians.”

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