British Bank Did Iran's Dirty Work: NY Regulators

Standard Chartered accused of helping Tehran hide $250B in transactions
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2012 12:48 PM CDT
British Bank Did Iran's Dirty Work: NY Regulators
The bank "left the US financial system vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes," says the department.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Move over, HSBC: A new British bank is in the crosshairs thanks to its relations with Iran. New York banking regulators today accused Standard Chartered Bank of helping Tehran hide some $250 billion in transactions between 2001 and 2010, and pocketing hundreds of millions in bank fees in the process. And the New York State Department of Financial Services says the "rogue institution" lent a similar helping hand to other sanctioned countries like Burma, Libya, and Sudan, the New York Times reports.

After poring through some 30,000 documents and emails that the department had access to because the transactions were routed through New York, it accused the bank of wiping any identifying information from 60,000 transactions made by the likes of the Central Bank of Iran and Bank Saderat—and claims the bank even compiled a guide on how to do so for its staff. Certain transactions between US and Iranian financial institutions were barred in 2008 over concerns that the money was being used to fund Iran's nuke program; Standard Chartered could lose its license to operate in the state as a result. (More Standard Chartered Bank stories.)

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