Standard Chartered to pay $330mn over US Iran probe

British bank Standard Chartered said on Thursday it expects to pay around $330 million to settle with US authorities "very shortly" over allegations it violated sanctions on Iran.

The sum comes on top of a $340 million fine it paid in August to settle a case in New York state, where regulators had accused it of hiding some $250 billion in transactions with Iranian banks, charges denied by the lender.

"The group remains in active and constructive discussions with the other US agencies on the resolution of the group's historical US sanctions compliance," Standard Chartered said.

"We anticipate that these discussions will conclude very shortly and are likely to result in the group paying a sum of approximately $330 million," it added in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange, where it is listed.

The latest settlement would conclude investigations by the US Justice Department, the Treasury, the Federal Reserve and the Manhattan district attorney's office, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.

The alleged transactions mainly involved US dollar transfers for state-owned Iranian banks, including the central bank, that fell under US sanctions aimed at curtailing Iran's controversial nuclear programme.

The New York Department of Financial Services said in August that the activity "left the US financial system vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes".

The London-based but Asia-focused bank also said it expects to report a full year "high single digit" revenue growth, slower than the 12 percent increase it posted in 2011.

Group chief executive Peter Sands nevertheless called them a "strong set of full year results", amid the uncertain global economic outlook.

"We continue to see significant opportunities across our markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East," Sands said in a statement.

Standard Chartered, which survived the global financial crisis without state assistance, has a strong footprint across emerging markets.

Its 2011 net profit, which rose 12 percent year-on-year to a record $4.75 billion was boosted by strong performance in developing economies.

Growth momentum however has slowed this year due to a slowdown in Asian economies and the US dollar strength against Asian currencies. Standard Chartered reports its results in US dollar terms.

  • Ford plants a new Mustang on the Empire State Building in style 34 minutes ago
    Ford plants a new Mustang on the Empire State Building in style

    Fifty years ago this week, Ford made history by staging the greatest car launch in history — building up the drama around its new Mustang with stunts like papering over dealership windows and landing on the covers of both Time and Newsweek magazine. To celebrate its anniversary, Ford re-created a stunt it last pulled off in 1965 — landing a new Mustang on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.

  • All-new 2015 Toyota Camry becomes an edgier appliance 1 hour 5 minutes ago
    All-new 2015 Toyota Camry becomes an edgier appliance

    Toyota finds itself in a tricky situation. Those that enjoy cars as more than a simple means of transportation think of the Camry as a bland spongecake gone stale. And yet it's been the best-selling vehicle in the entire industry for the past 12 years, with a car rolling off the production line every 65 seconds. So how do you add flavor to your insipid dish without alienating your loyal -- and vast -- customer base? Enter the 2015 Camry: Toyota's attempt to engage enthusiasts while appeasing to those that think a turbo is nothing but make-believe snail.

  • New Hyundai Sonata grows into a large contender 1 hour 8 minutes ago
    New Hyundai Sonata grows into a large contender

    So it’s taken a while, but Hyundai is in the big leagues now. There is rife evidence of this in its sales numbers, reliability ratings and white paper indices, but the most telling indicator to us, perhaps, is that Hyundai no longer feels the need to overdesign or mimic other automobile designs as if to say, “Look, we can build good cars, too! They look just like these other nice ones!”

  • Supermodel Qi Qi is afraid of flying
    Supermodel Qi Qi is afraid of flying

    The supermodel said that she will take her daughter in a vacation but will try to avoid boarding a plane

  • One dead as S. Korea ferry with 476 passengers sinks
    One dead as S. Korea ferry with 476 passengers sinks

    South Korea's coastguard said Wednesday one person had been killed as it struggled to rescue 476 people -- mostly high school students -- aboard a ferry that ran aground and sank off the southern coast. "The ferry is almost completely submerged," Lee said, adding that a detachment of South Korean Navy SEALS were taking part in the rescue. Of the 450 passengers on board the ferry bound for the southern resort island of Jeju, 325 were students from a high school in Ansan, south of Seoul. The 6,825-tonne ferry, which had sailed out of the western port of Incheon on Tuesday evening, ran into trouble some 20 kilometres (13 miles) off the island of Byungpoong.

  • ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says
    ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The “huge” statues at a Hindu temple in Batu Caves and Buddhist temple in Penang are an affront to Islam as the religion forbids idolatry, a retired Court of Appeals judge...