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Standard Chartered agrees to $327-million U.S. settlement

December 10, 2012|By Jim Puzzanghera
  • The Standard Chartered bank building in Hong Kong.
The Standard Chartered bank building in Hong Kong. (Kin Cheung / Associated…)

WASHINGTON -- Britain's Standard Chartered bank has agreed to a $327-million settlement with U.S. officials, who have been investigating the bank for possible violations of economic sanctions against Iran and other countries.

The settlement, announced Monday, includes $132 million paid to the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control and $100 million paid to the Federal Reserve.

Treasury officials said the settlement resolves probes into apparent violations by the bank's London and Dubai offices from 2001 to 2007 of U.S. economic sanctions against Iran, Burma, Libya and Sudan, as well as a case involving sanctions related to foreign narcotics kingpins.

U.S. officials accused Standard Chartered of stripping important information from payment information, including references to locations or entities under U.S. sanctions.

As part of the settlement, the bank agreed to put in place policies to minimize future problems with payment information, Treasury said.

The $327-million settlement consists of a $100-million civil penalty by the Fed, and $227 million deferred prosecution agreements with Treasury, the Justice Department and the district attorney for New York County.

"The payment is for past violations of sanctions laws and the lack of transparency in connection with certain former payment practices which were terminated in 2007," Standard Chartered said Monday. 

"In the more than five years since the events giving rise to today’s settlements, the bank has completed a comprehensive review and upgrade of its compliance systems and procedures," it said.

Those steps included creating a New York-based unit monitoring compliance with sanctions and financial crimes reporting.

The deal with U.S. officials comes after Standard Chartered earlier this year agreed to pay $340 million to New York's banking regulator, the Department of Financial Services to settle similar allegations of helping conceal transactions with entities in Iran.

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