Standard Chartered Bank is under renewed regulatory scrutiny as a result of a Financial Times investigation into its business ties to Iran. According to news sources, the bank continued to do business with Iranian related companies after agreeing to stop in 2007.
The investigation this time is being spearheaded by the Department of Justice, the Manhattan district attorney, the Federal Reserve, the New York Department of Financial Services and now the New York attorney-general’s office. After paying a settlement for the same conduct in 2012, the bank said it had “ceased all new business with Iranian customers in any currency” five years earlier.
A Financial Times investigation identified transactions involving Iran that could put the bank at risk of severe penalties ranging from further fines to suspension or loss of its crucial dollar clearing licence. Financial times suggested that StanChart continued to seek new business from Iranian and Iran-connected companies after it had committed in 2007 to stop working with such clients.
Standard Chartered was fined $300 million by the New York Department of Financial Services in August last year for failing to flag suspicious transactions, adding to a $667 million settlement in 2012 over breaches of U.S. bans concerning Iran. Mending the bank’s reputation with regulators and preventing future compliance blowups are high on the agenda of new Chief Executive Officer Bill Winters, who replaced Peter Sands in June.
Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers