In another impressive display of federal oversight, New York’s top banking regulator threatened to strip U.K. bank Standard Chartered PLC of its license to do business in the state, alleging that the bank illegally handled at least $250 billion in transactions with the Iranian government for nearly a decade.
From 2001 – 2010, the bank earned hundreds of millions in fees by moving money through its New York branch for Iranian financial institutions under U.S. sanctions.
Financial transactions with Iran have been highly restricted by the U.S. government since 1979, when the Islamo-fascist regime took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.
The allegations are based on a nine-month probe that included the review of more than 30,000 pages of internal memos, emails and other records.
In one email dated October 2006, the head of Standard Chartered U.S. operations warned the executive director of risk in London that the dealings with Iran could cause “very serious or even catastrophic reputational damage” to the bank, provoking the Standard Chartered executive to caustically reply, “You f----ing Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of he world, that we’re not going to deal with Iranians.”
The nine-month investigation by the New York department of financial services claims that Standard Chartered also sought to do business with other U.S.–sanctioned countries, including Libya, Burma and Sudan.
Not revealed is whether the NYSDFS or any other banking regulator, the Treasury Department or the Justice Department ever went to the Standard Chartered website, where a quick link will take you to Islamic Banking, where it states, “the word Saadiq means ‘truthful’ in Arabic, representing our commitment to provide innovative solutions that uphold our customers’ beliefs.”
Financial transactions with Iran have been subject to U.S. sanctions because it suspected Iran has been using its banks to finance nuclear weapons and missile programs, as well as terrorist groups including Hezbollah and Hamas.
Standard Chartered, one of the top five banks in the UK and perhaps it’s most respected, also provides Islamic Private Banking and Islamic Priority Banking.
Time and anonymity are probably critical services when funneling money to terrorists, drug kingpins, weapons dealers and corrupt regimes.
Standard Chartered also does business in Afghanistan and Pakistan, our partners in peace, and offers a Shariah Supervisory Committee.