Standard Chartered Plc watched at its shares plummeted by 17 percent on Tuesday following the revelation that the bank may have laundered more than $250 billion for Iran.
According to the New York State Department of Financial Services the banking institution hid more than 60,000 secret transactions over the last decade, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.
U.S. officials have been dealing with the banks officials regarding the matter since 2010 and are now considering the removal of its New York banking license, a move that would deal a devastating blow for the Asian located bank. By removing its New York banking license Standard Chartered would effectively be cut out of the U.S bank market where much of its $190 billion in daily transactions occur.
Standard Chartered is hardly alone in U.S. law enforcement attacks, earlier this year Barclays Plc agreed to a $453 million settlement based on U.S. and UK programs. One month after that settlement U.S. Senate leaders attacks HSBC Holding Plc for failure to police suspect transactions from Mexican drug traffickers.
In the meantime Standard Chartered has provided an analysis in which it claims it “acted to comply, and overwhelmingly did comply” with U.S. regulations.
While New York banking regulators put the total sum at $250 billion executives at Standard Chartered claim the number is closer to $14 million, quite the gap between reports.
Standard Chartered is coming under further scrutiny in 2012 as Iran faces toughened economic sanctions from the U.S. because of its developing nuclear program.
Bank officials will appear before the New York regulator on Aug. 15.
Since 2008 six foreign banks have been implicated in Iran dealings outside of international sanctions. Of those six banks four have paid out a total of $1.8 billion in fines following investigations by U.S. law enforcement.
The New York investigation is being headed by former prosecutor Benjamin Lawsky who has proclaimed, “Standard Chartered Bank operated as a rogue institution.”