Standard Chartered to pay US$1.1 bln for sanctions violations

The penalty will be paid by Standard Chartered to the US and British authorities after a completion of an investigation. (AFP pic)

WASHINGTON: London-based Standard Chartered PLC has agreed to pay US and British authorities US$1.1 billion over violations of sanctions on Iran and other countries, several government agencies said on Tuesday.

The penalty, which resolves an investigation that began some five years ago, was split between the US Department of Justice, the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the New York County District Attorney’s Office, the New York State Department of Financial Services, and the Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

In a statement on Tuesday, Standard Chartered said it accepted full responsibility for the violation, the vast majority of which predated 2012 and none of which occurred after 2014. The bank said it had cooperated proactively and fully with the authorities’ investigations.

“The circumstances that led to today’s resolutions are completely unacceptable and not representative of the Standard Chartered I am proud to lead today,” Bill Winters, group chief executive, said in a statement.

The bank has been operating under a deferred prosecution agreement with US authorities since 2012, when it paid US$667 million for illegally moving millions of dollars through the US financial system on behalf of customers in Iran, Sudan, Libya and Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

The agreement has been extended numerous times, most recently for 10 days and set to expire on Wednesday.

Standard Chartered said in February it had set aside US$900 million for the potential resolution of violations of US sanctions and foreign exchange trading. That sum also included the FCA penalty.