UK banking giant Standard Chartered got slammed with more than $1 billion in fines and settlements on Tuesday for helping launder money from Iran, Sudan and other sanctioned countries through the US financial system over a six-year period.
The British bank cleared more than $600 million in transactions through its New York offices from 2008 to 2014 that were in violation of sanctions laws, and even advised one Iranian company on how to avoid detection, according to a consent order with the New York Department of Financial Services.
“If you change the company name then we can reopen another account with Standard Chartered,” one banker advised an Iranian client, according to the consent order.
The bank — which has been sanctioned twice before having inadequate anti-money laundering systems —was unwilling to block regions that were under US sanctions because it would have interfered with their ability to do business with clients there, according to the order.
“Not blocking access from sanctioned countries makes it easier for clients to open an account posing as being based in one country when they are really based in another,” one Standard Chartered banker wrote in an email obtained by regulators.
In addition to the $600 million cleared from Iran, the bank also facilitated $275 million in payments for Sudan, Myanmar, Syria and Cuba, according to the order.
The Justice Department, US Treasury, the UK Financial Conduct Authority, and New York District Attorney led the action against the bank, in addition to the DFS.
The civil action stems from a separate investigation into the bank.
Standard Chartered was fined $340 million in 2012 for “stripping” information from orders that identified clients from sanctioned countries. In 2014, the company was fined another $300 million for failing to clean up its money laundering monitoring programs.
Source » nypost