Scandal-Hit Standard Chartered to Pay PS416m; BANKING

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Byline: Jamie Grierson

STANDARD Chartered has warned it expects to pay a total of $670m (PS416m) to settle allegations that it breached sanctions with Iran.

The scandal-hit bank was accused by regulators in August of exposing the United States to terrorists and drug kingpins by hiding $250bn (PS160bn) of transactions with Tehran.

In a trading update, Standard said it expects to pay another $330m (PS205m) on top of the $340m (PS211m) paid to New York's Department of Financial Services (DFS) to settle the claims.

The 160-year-old lender said the charge will push pre-tax profit growth down to a "mid-single digit rate" rather than in the double-digit range.

Shares in Standard were up 1% after the update as analysts said it removed some uncertainty around the impact of the scandal.

Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said: "The implication from the bank's statement is that the US situation is very close to a resolution, which is also likely to be less costly than for some of its rivals. To remove such uncertainty is a positive sign and allows investors to refocus on the business."

Standard, which employs nearly 90,000 people worldwide and sponsors Liverpool Football Club, was initially threatened with losing its licence to operate within New York state.

In an explosive legal order, DFS superintendent Benjamin Lawsky said: "In short, Standard Chartered Bank operated as a rogue institution. …