Standard Chartered Chairman Rescinds Comment on Iran Penalty

Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) chairman, Sir John Peace, has apologised for claiming that the lender had no wilful intention of contravening US sanctions on Iran, and retracted what he described as inaccurate comments made earlier this month.

The bank agreed a US$327m settlement with US regulators last December to settle allegations that it had breached sanctions as well as reaching a US$340m settlement with the
New York regulator 
 in August 2012.

“My statement [given on March 5] that SCB “had no wilful act to avoid sanctions” was wrong, and directly contradicts SCB’s acceptance of responsibility in the deferred prosecution agreement and accompanying factual statement,” Peace said in a press release issued by the bank, which referred to comments that he made earlier this month at a telephone press conference presenting the group’s annual results.

“During that press conference … I made certain statements that I very much regret and that were at best inaccurate,” he added. “I retract the comment I made as both legally and factually incorrect.

“To be clear, SCB unequivocally acknowledges and accepts responsibility, on behalf of the bank and its employees, for past knowing and wilful criminal conduct in violating US economic sanctions laws and regulations, and related New York criminal laws, as set out in the deferred prosecution agreement.”

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