Standard Chartered chief forced to say sorry for Iran remarks
STANDARD Chartered chairman John Peace was forced by US regulators to apologise for claiming breaches of sanctions on Iran that led to a $667m (€517m) fine were unintentional.
Mr Peace, who said recently that the firm had no "willful" intention to dodge US rules, said yesterday that his earlier claim was "wrong."
Under the settlement it reached with US regulators last year, the bank entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice.
As part of that deal, the US charged the bank with conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, a charge that will be dismissed after two years as long as the bank abides by the agreement.
"As part of these agreements, we rigorously monitor the banks for continued compliance, and subsequently addressed this violation by Standard Chartered for not accepting responsibility for its misconduct," said Joan Vollero, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney. "We demanded a public repudiation and they complied."
Mr Peace (64) said his original comment "directly contradicts Standard Chartered's acceptance of responsibility in the deferred prosecution agreement."
The firm "unequivocally acknowledges and accepts responsibility, on behalf of the bank and its employees, for past knowing and willful criminal conduct in violating US economic sanctions."
A spokesman for the London-based company declined to comment beyond the statement.
"They tried to play hardball with the US regulators and lost," said Simon Maughan, an analyst at Olivetree Securities in London.
The lender was accused by Benjamin Lawsky, head of the US Department of Financial Services, of helping Iran launder about $250bn, keeping false records and handling wire transfers for Iranian clients.