Standard Chartered close to U.S. settlement on Iran transactions

Thu Nov 1, 2012 7:53pm EDT
 
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By Aruna Viswanatha and Karen Freifeld

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Standard Chartered is close to wrapping up discussions to resolve U.S. investigations into its Iran-linked transactions and nearing agreement on a fine in the $300-million range, mirroring a much-publicized state settlement over similar allegations, according to four people familiar with the matter.

The London-based bank agreed in August to pay New York's banking regulator $340 million after that authority filed a surprise order accusing the bank of hiding some $250 billion worth of transactions with Iran.

In bringing its case in August, the New York Department of Financial Services broke away from other authorities also investigating the transfers, including the Manhattan District Attorney, the U.S. Treasury Department, the New York Federal Reserve and the Justice Department.

Standard Chartered has been in talks recently to resolve the remaining probes through a joint settlement, the sources said. Authorities have discussed additional fines similar to the previous settlement, but have not yet agreed on a specific number with the bank, these people said.

The bank's finance director said earlier this week it was aiming for a final settlement by the end of the year. Negotiators are hammering out the final language of that settlement, the sources said.

Some sticking points remain, including whether the bank will be subject to separate monitoring requirements from the New York Federal Reserve in addition to those it already agreed to with the state banking regulator and what the exact terms of any such review would be, one person said.

Representatives of the bank and the U.S. authorities concerned either declined to comment or did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

STRIPPED TRANSFERS   Continued...

 
A woman walks down the stairs of the Standard Chartered headquarters in Hong Kong in this October 13, 2010 file photo. Picture taken October 13, 2010. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/Files