Standard Chartered Bank’s cozy relationship with Iran
Standard Chartered bank is under additional scrutiny for its relationship with Iran. The bank, which was previously fined twice in relation to sanctions evasion, is now under investigation for facilitating payments for firms based in the UAE trading with Iranian counterparts.
In 2007, the bank paid a $300 million fine for a flaw in their system designed to track suspicious transactions.
Between 2001 and 2007, the bank hid or disguised the identities of Iranian clients, including the Central Bank of Iran.
In 2012, the bank paid a $667 million penalty for moving billions of dollars through the US for Iranian clients in breach of sanctions.
US officials are now considering criminal penalties.
Analysis: The Standard Chartered case demonstrates that individuals and countries seeking to evade sanctions will seek out major, international financial institutions to help them do so. This is by no means the first time that a bank has been implicated to this degree in sanctions evasion – it is in fact an all-too common occurrence. (ABLV Bank and Credit Bank Moscow are two recent examples.)