NY's regulator calls StanChart "rogue institution", threatens to revoke licence

New York's top banking regulator has threatened Britain's leading bank Standard Chartered Plc of revoking the state banking license for allegedly violating US anti-money laundering laws by hiding at least $250 billion worth of Iranian transactions.

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) led by superintendent Benjamin Lawsky, yesterday called the 43 year-old bank a "rogue institution" that plotted with the Iranian government and hid 60,000 secret transactions and thereby US anti-money laundering laws.

The sanctions-busting news sent the stock of the London-based bank plunging by more than 6 per cent yesterday.

The DFS said that Standard Chartered for almost 10 years schemed with the government of Iran and hid from regulators around 60,000 secret transactions, involving at least $250 billion, and reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in fees. 

Among the Iranian clients were the Central Bank of Iran and state-owned Bank Saderat and Bank Melli.

It said that bank's actions left the US financial system vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes, and deprived law enforcement investigators of crucial information used to track all manner of criminal activity.