RegSol Blog


AML: Standard Chartered Settles Case with US Regulators

May 2019


On the 9th April 2019, it was announced that Standard Chartered had agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle allegations by authorities in the United States and Britain that it violated money-laundering legislation and acted in breach of economic sanctions.

The Treasury and Department of Justice as well as New York State regulators and prosecutors, said that Standard Chartered had processed hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions over a number of years from countries subject to financial sanctions. These included Myanmar, Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria.
The bank has also been hit with a £102m fine by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA found "serious and sustained shortcomings" in Standard Chartered's anti-money laundering controls.
The penalties all arise from investigations that have been ongoing since 2014.

This isn’t the first case of a large penalty against a European bank caught processing illicit transactions for sanctioned countries and criminals but rather simply adds to the list:
  • In 2012, HSBC agreed to pay $1.9 billion and to submit to years of heightened scrutiny after the authorities found that the bank had helped Mexican drug cartels launder money. The operations there have become the subject of the Netflix documentary series ‘Dirty Money’.
  • In 2014, BNP Paribas paid a record sum of nearly $9 billion and pleaded guilty to violating American sanctions against Sudan and other countries.
  • In 2017, Deutsche Bank was fined $630 million for helping Russian investors move $10 billion through branches in London, Moscow and New York.