Standard Chartered is paying out huge sums of money for the second time in less than a decade to settle claims of sanctions busting.
The UK-based bank has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle allegations that it repeatedly violated sanctions on Iran and other countries.
US and British authorities announced the settlement on Tuesday, saying the bank had breached sanctions on countries including Iran, Myanmar, Cuba and Syria.
The US Treasury Department said that Standard Chartered had “acted with reckless disregard and failed to exercise a minimal degree of caution” in processing nearly 10,000 transactions between 2009 and 2014 that moved a total of $438 million through the United States in violation of sanctions.
While noting that Standard Chartered had provided “substantial” cooperation during the probe, officials said the bank had allowed dozens of companies subject to sanctions to access the US financial system.
UK regulators said they had also uncovered “significant shortcomings” in the bank’s approach to identifying risks.
They said one client had been allowed to open an account using a suitcase containing 3 million dirhams ($625,000) in cash, without providing evidence of where the money came from. Standard Chartered also failed to collect sufficient information from a customer exporting a product with potential military applications to 75 countries.
Under the terms of the settlement, Standard Chartered has agreed to conduct regular risk assessments and improve its internal controls.
“We are pleased to have resolved these matters and to put these historical issues behind us,” Standard Chartered (SCBFF) CEO Bill Winters said in a statement. “The circumstances that led to today’s resolutions are completely unacceptable and not representative of the Standard Chartered (SCBFF) I am proud to lead today.”
The settlement requires Standard Chartered to pay $947 million to US government agencies, while the UK Financial Conduct Authority will collect £102 million ($133 million). The bank set aside $900 million to cover fines related to the allegations in the fourth quarter of 2018. It said Tuesday that it would take a final charge of $190 million in the first quarter of this year.
Standard Chartered entered a deferred prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice in 2012, when it paid a total of $667 million over alleged sanctions violations. The agreement, which allows the company to resolve matters that would otherwise be prosecuted, had been extended multiple times.