Brit bank OKs $340M payout to NY regulators

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State financial regulators said Tuesday that Standard Chartered Bank had agreed to pay a $340-million settlement to resolve an investigation into whether the British bank schemed with the Iranian government to launder $250 billion from 2001 to 2007.

The bank will pay the civil penalty and will strengthen oversight of overseas transactions, New York Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky said.

Standard Chartered spokeswoman Julie Gibson noted the state's announcement set out the terms of an agreement, including payment of $340 million, and a formal agreement with details is expected soon.

Standard Charter will install a monitor for at least two years who will evaluate the money-laundering risk controls of its New York branch and take corrective measures, Lawsky said. It also will permanently install personnel to oversee and audit offshore money-laundering monitors, the agency said. State examiners will be placed at the bank.

"The Federal Reserve continues to work with the other agencies on a comprehensive resolution," Fed spokeswoman Barbara Hagenbaugh said.

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Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has been investigating the bank, with federal partners, for more than a year.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the result showed the effectiveness of the state's recently formed Department of Financial Services, which combined banking and insurance regulation in one agency. "This state and nation are still paying the price for a failed regulatory system and that must not happen again," he said.

In a statement Monday, Standard Chartered Bank said it "strongly rejects" the New York regulators' portrayal of its transactions with Iranian banks.

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