Standard Chartered fined in US

Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered has agreed to pay $300m (¬£180m) to New York’s top banking regulator for failing to improve its money laundering controls.

The British bank has also been banned from accepting new dollar clearing accounts without the state’s approval.

The penalty comes after the bank failed to fix problems identified in 2012.

“If a bank fails to live up to its commitments, there should be consequences,” the New York State Department’s Benjamin M Lawsky said.

Standard Chartered said it “accepted” the findings of the New York State Department of Financial Services.

“We are continuing the remediation of our AML [anti-money laundering] control issues with the utmost urgency, in addition to improving our compliance programmes generally,” it added.

It said a “small proportion” of its clients would be affected by the suspension of dollar clearing for high risk retail clients at its Hong Kong unit, and the banning of high-risk client relationships in the United Arab Emirates.

Standard Chartered warned earlier this month that it could face more US fines over its money-laundering controls as it reported a 20% fall in half-year profits.

In 2012, Standard Chartered agreed a $340m fine with the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) after it was accused of hiding $250bn of transactions with Iran.

As part of that agreement an independent monitor was installed at the bank by the DFS, which discovered that Standard Chartered had failed to detect “a large number of potentially high risk transactions”.