The prestigious British financial institution, Standard Chartered, has found itself in a deep quagmire, and the subject of a new investigation by the New York State Department of Financial Services. This current episode is providing yet another scandal-circus of potentially mammoth proportions for the banking community. The charge, which will be contested in court in the next few weeks, is that the bank traded (over the last decade, to the tune of millions) with sanction-imposed Iran, something that could see them paying at least a massive fine; or potentially losing their U.S. license.
Standard Chartered has gone on record saying that they have adhered to the U.S. regulations “99.9%,” (leaving one to wonder about that last .1%) and have essentially played by the rules. This investigation is also bringing to the surface a fair amount of nationalism on the British side, leaving UK analysts to say that America is once again waving its big stick in the air. The decade-long transactions under scrutiny involve the courts looking at transcriptions of emails and records of the “60,000 transactions” that occurred during this time.
CNN reported one email that has surfaced, in response to a New York official in the bank’s U.S. division giving fair warning to the potential problems of this money trail in 2006 (and) that the bank could face “serious criminal liability.” The response was hubristic to say the least: “The warning was allegedly rejected by the recipient, who regulators say responded by writing in an email: “You f—ing Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we are not going to deal with Iranians. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][sic].”
This case has the potential to not only damage the reputation of Standard Chartered, but also could see them lose their very important U.S. license – something that most experts think won’t happen unless a “smoking gun” is found by investigators. Regardless, this just adds more ire to the fire of the banking sector and highlights, yet again, the need for serious reforms.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]