Between 2007 and 2011, Standard Chartered Bank facilitated $240 million worth of financial transactions that violated U.S. sanctions programs.
Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) on Tuesday agreed to pay penalties in the amount of $1.1 billion that were spread across myriad federal, state and local government agencies for violating multiple U.S. sanctions.
Specifically, between 2007 and 2011, the British bank allegedly violated U.S. sanctions programs related to Burma, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Syrian and Zimbabwe on about 9,500 transactions worth $240 million.
The illicit transactions mostly involved Iran-related bank accounts maintained by SCB’s Dubai branch offices, which held accounts for trading and petrochemical companies. SCB in Dubai processed U.S. dollar transactions through the bank’s New York branch or other U.S. financial institutions on behalf of customers located in Iran.
SCB entered individual penalty agreements with the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, Federal Reserve, New York Department of Financial Services and U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority in the amount of $477 million.
In addition, the New York County District Attorney’s Office accessed a $292 million penalty against SCB for falsifying the records of New York financial institutions, while the Justice Department required SCB to forfeit $240 million for the illicit financial transactions.
“Today’s resolution sends a clear message to financial institutions and their employees: If you circumvent U.S. sanctions against rogue states like Iran — or assist those who do — you will pay a steep price,” said U.S. Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski in a statement.
While SCB started a company-wide sanctions compliance program in mid-2013, the bank as part of penalties committed to “a culture of compliance,” ensuring that its internal controls appropriately mitigate sanctions-related risks, conducting regular audits and providing ongoing sanctions compliance training throughout the company.