StanChart expects to pay US$330m to settle US Iran probe

PHOTO: StanChart expects to pay US$330m to settle US Iran probe

HONG KONG - British bank Standard Chartered said Thursday it expects to pay around $330 million (S$399 million) to settle with US authorities “very shortly” over allegations it violated sanctions on Iran.

The sum comes on top of a $340 million fine it paid in August to settle a case in New York state, where regulators had accused it of hiding some $250 billion in transactions with Iranian banks, charges denied by the lender.

“The group remains in active and constructive discussions with the other US agencies on the resolution of the group’s historical US sanctions compliance,” Standard Chartered said.

“We anticipate that these discussions will conclude very shortly and are likely to result in the group paying a sum of approximately $330 million,” it added in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange, where it is listed.

The latest settlement would conclude investigations by the US Justice Department, the Treasury, the Federal Reserve and the Manhattan district attorney’s office, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.

The alleged transactions mainly involved US dollar transfers for state-owned Iranian banks, including the central bank, that fell under US sanctions aimed at curtailing Iran’s controversial nuclear programme.

The New York Department of Financial Services said in August that the activity “left the US financial system vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes”.