Standard Chartered is in trouble again for money laundering issues.
Either I’ve been blogging long enough to see cycles repeating or the too-big-to-fail banks are getting more casual in their casual efforts to comply with US law. Or maybe I’m just suffering from confirmation bias.
Their software that is supposed to flag suspicious transactions allegedly failed to identify a million transactions that should have been reported to US authorities for review. That is according to the monitor installed to watch their compliance.
Unknown yet how many, if any, of the million suspicious wires were actually illegal.
Settlement negotiations are underway. Discussion in the air suggests a fine of $100M is possible. The bank’s chief executive has reportedly flown to New York to participate in the negotiations.
This follows a $340M fine in 2012 when Standard Chartered admitted in writing that they ‘repaired’ 59,000 wires going to Iran. Total face value of laundered money is $250B. That effort ran for 7 years and overlapped a previous enforcement action.
If there are illegal wires amongst the million that should have been flagged, will this generate actual enforcement effort? Even a deferred prosecution agreement would be a step up.
My background posts from last time around:
It is really weird that I get to start doing Francine McKenna’s routine of pulling out years-old writing to comment on a current fiasco. Well for the first time on my little blog, here are three posts I wrote in 2012 about Standard Chartered and money laundering:
- 9/22/12 – Standard Chartered Bank admits laundering $250B, will pay $340M fine. By the way, looks like a repeat violation.
- 8/18/12 – Standard Chartered settles money laundering case. The latest in a string of settlements.
- 12/7/12 – “A bad quarter” versus “I could go to jail” – Is it time to indict a few bankers for money laundering?
Background articles for this round of settlement negotiations:
- 8/5 – DealBook NYT – British Bank Standard Chartered Faces Actions, Again, by New York State – Best of the articles. This is the one that broke the story.
- 8/5 – Bloomberg – Standard Chartered in Talks With Lawsky Over Transactions – Settlement sought by N.Y. Department of Financial Services is reportedly $100M.
- 8/7 – WSJ – Standard Chartered Expects to Pay Penalty – This article doesn’t indicate expected amount of penalty. What it does is provide net income for first half of 2014 of $2.3B, up from $2.13B in the first half of 2013. If the bank negotiates a settlement, I’ll circle back and calculate the number of days net income the fine represents.