August 25, 2019, 9:40


US Slaps Britain-Based Bank With $1.1bn Fine Over Alleged Iran Sanctions Breach

US Slaps Britain-Based Bank With $1.1bn Fine Over Alleged Iran Sanctions Breach

The fine is also the largest penalty for Standard Charter since it paid $667m (£509m) to settle charges on allegations from the US that the bank breached sanctions from 2001 and 2007.

US authorities have slapped UK-based Standard Chartered with a £840m (£1.1bn) penalty for allegedly violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) against Iran and other nations — one of the largest-ever fines imposed on a bank. 

Standard Chartered reportedly was forced to pay $947m (£723m) in penalties on alleged charges that it violated sanctions against Iran and multiple countries, and was hit with a further $190m ($145m) for violating anti-money laundering rules on funds used for terrorist purposes, including Daesh. 

“Standard Chartered Bank admits to illegally [processing transactions in violation of Iranian sanctions and agrees to pay more than $1 billion”, the US Justice Department tweeted on Tuesday.

Calling it a “criminal conspiracy”, US authorities cited transactions processed by Standard Chartered between 2009 and 2014 at the firm’s Dubai branch, according to a Justice Department statement on Tuesday. 

Standard Chartered also had to pay £102m in fines to the Financial Conduct Authority on Tuesday over “Anti-Money Laundering (AML) breaches in two higher risk areas of its business,” an FCA statement read. “This is the second largest financial penalty for AML controls failings ever imposed by the FCA.”

But this is not the first time that the US has targeted nations for doing business with other countries, with France’s BNP Paribas paying out $8.9bn in 2014 for allegedly violating sanctions. The US has also earned billions of dollars from European banks after Washington vowed to target South Korea, Taiwan, China and others for processing transaction for Iranian enterprises. 

“Today’s resolution sends a clear message to financial institutions and their employees: if you circumvent U.S. sanctions against rogue states like Iran—or assist those who do—you will pay a steep price,” Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski said.

“When a global bank processes transactions through the U.S. financial system, its compliance program must be up to the task of detecting and preventing sanctions violations—and when it is not, banks have an obligation to identify, report, and remediate any shortcomings,” Mr. Benczkowski said. “The Justice Department is committed to protecting our U.S. financial system and will continue to hold financial institutions and individuals to account when they violate U.S. sanctions laws.” 

READ MORE: Trump Holds ‘Productive’ Call With Saudi Crown Prince on Pressuring Iran — WH

The news comes after US president Donald Trump and his administration have voiced criticism over the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), which would allow Iran to rejoin the international banking system and conduct further trade with global markets, resulting in roughly 12 cases totalling over $16bn in penalties for the US Treasury. In 2012, HSBC was hit with a 1.9bn fine over money-laundering allegations from the US, and Royal Bank of Scotland was targeted with $10bn in fines over allegedly misselling mortgage-backed securities.

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