An order issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services Monday says that Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Chartered plc, for a period of 10 years 'schemed with the Government of Iran and hid from regulators roughly 60,000 secret transactions, involving at least $250 billion, and reaping SCB hundreds of millions of dollars in fees. SCB‟s actions left the U.S. financial system vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes, and deprived law enforcement investigators of crucial information used to track all manner of criminal activity'.
The complaint continues:
'In its evident zeal to make hundreds of millions of dollars at almost any cost, SCB undertook a course of conduct that included:
falsifying business records; offering false instruments for filing; failing to maintain accurate books and records of all transactions effected and all actions taken on behalf of SCB; obstructing governmental administration; failing to report misconduct to the Department in a timely manner; evading Federal sanctions; and numerous other violations of law'.
The bank has been accused of operating as 'a rogue institution'.
The order concludes:
'Motivated by greed, SCB acted for at least ten years without any regard for the legal, reputational, and national security consequences of its flagrantly deceptive actions. Led by its most senior management, SCB designed and implemented an elaborate scheme by which to use its New York branch as a front for prohibited dealings with Iran – dealings that indisputably helped sustain a global threat to peace and stability. By definition, any banking institution that engages in such conduct is unsafe and unsound.
'The evidence uncovered by the Department indicates that SCB has committed regulatory transgressions of the highest order'.
Standard Chartered has said that it 'strongly rejects the position and portrayal of facts' made by the state regulator.
See the complete order here
image: © Lisamarie Babik