Over almost a decade, Standard Chartered Bank in midtown Manhattan concealed about 60,000 transactions by Iranian clients from U.S. authorities in order to rake in millions of dollars in fees, New York’s Department of Financial Services said.
Bank executives, “motivated by greed,” were fully aware they were flouting the rules between 2001 and 2010, Benjamin Lawsky, the department’s superintendent said.
In 2006, an employee in the New York branch complained to superiors that the bank’s Iran dealings might make it criminally liable.
“You f—— Americans,” was reportedly the response from a senior official in London. “Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with Iranians.”
The bank acted as a “rogue institution,” and its actions “left the U.S. financial system vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes,” Lawsky said.
The New York regulator threatened to revoke Standard’s U.S. banking license and demanded it hire an independent monitor.