Standard Chartered today averted a showdown with New York’s top regulator by agreeing to pay a $340 million fine to settle charges it laundered hundreds of billions of dollars for Iranian banks and corporations.
The British banking giant struck the deal with the Department of Financial Services, headed by Benjamin Lawsky, on the eve of a hearing scheduled for Wednesday in the watchdog’s office, the Wall Street Journal reported.
By doing so, the bank has avoided having its New York licence canceled, according to the New York Times.
“The parties have agreed that the conduct at issue involved transactions of at least $250 billion,” Lawsky said in a statement.
As part of the settlement, Standard Chartered has agreed to strengthen supervision of overseas transactions, the Associated Press said.
It will appoint a monitor, chosen by Lawsky, as well as auditors to its New York office to ensure it is complying with US money laundering laws.
Last week, the Department of Financial Services published a damning report that accused the bank of hiding more than 60,000 transactions totaling $250 billion with Iranian clients.
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Standard Chartered chief executive Peter Sands rejected the central allegation that the bank had conspired with Iran to hide the transactions to evade US sanctions.
Sands, however, did admit that some of the 60,000 transactions had violated US laws.
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