London Bank That Hid Iran Dealings Is Fed Up With 'F---ing Americans'

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Standard Chartered
From 2001 to 2010, the management at British bank Standard Chartered (STAN) "schemed with the government of Iran and hid from regulators roughly 60,000 secret transactions, involving at least $250 billion," earning "hundreds of millions of dollars in fees" in the process. Standard Chartered moved this money for Iranian clients, "stripping" the transactions of identifying information that might indicate their source, lest regulators figure out that money laundering was going on.

So argues New York's top financial regulator, the New York State Department of Financial Services, in a case that's currently ruffling feathers from NYC to London.

The Brits' response?

Bugger Off

According to Standard Chartered, everything it did was 100% legal (well, 99.9%). U.S. law permits keeping client identities secret so long as a banker conducts "strong due-diligence," and Standard Chartered avers that it did this on "99.9%" of the transactions in question.

Now, maybe Standard Chartered did that. Maybe the bank invested the man-hours necessary to diligently check the legality of these tens of thousands of suspect transactions. But Standard Charter's claim that it dotted every 'i' and crossed every 't' doesn't jibe with the sentiments expressed in an email the bank's Executive Director sent to its U.S. branch head in 2006 (in the middle of all the skullduggery).

Reacting to concerns that Standard Chartered might be breaking the law, the UK exec exclaimed: "You f---ing Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we're not going to deal with Iranians?!"

These sound more like the words of someone trying to defend not conducting due diligence, than the words of someone calmly confirming that the checks and balances are in place, and all is well.

As for the objection itself ... does anyone else think the banker doth protest too much? New York regulators actually have every right to set conditions for a bank wishing to do business within the state. That's kind of their job.

Moreover, enforcing sanctions on Iran isn't just an American idea. Just last year, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (the British version of secretary of the treasury) announced sanctions against Iran's Central Bank, responding to International Atomic Energy Agency reports that Iran was "engaged in nuclear activities with military applications." As recently as February, the Brits were pushing the United Nations for tougher sanctions. Why, in November, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported the UK Defense Ministry was making plans for how it would bomb Iran!

Maybe next time Standard Chartered should peruse its government's "to-bomb" list before tossing its "F-bombs" across the Pond.
Standard Chartered Scandal

Motley Fool contributor Rich Smith holds no position in any company mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Standard Chartered.

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Keith

There is that "OBama foreign popularity" the democrats rave about.......

August 16 2012 at 8:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kolia

all moneychangers control money and therefore control the sixbillionplus on the bluewhitemarble. and the people worldwide must be freed from this control by the rich onepercent elite.the cry in the wilderness is that of the widow and her childre. please omnybluewhitemarble help. thank you

August 16 2012 at 7:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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We have so many problems with our Yanks in our Yankee big banks that makes this nuttie guy seem not so bad.

August 16 2012 at 7:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jason

We have so many problems with our Yanks in our Yankee big banks that makes this nuttie guy seem not so bad.

Regardless of how awful this fellow may be we need to keep looking in the mirror at our own huge problems and stop looking around scolding the Brit. Just do what is lawful with his firm and be done with it. Get back to business on the Yanks destroying America financially and politically for 30-35 years.

This is like an ER doc obsessing on a sprained ankle patient and barely being attentive at the heart attack patient. Hello is anyone home... ;o

August 16 2012 at 4:18 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Jason

We have so many problems with our Yanks in our Yankee big banks that makes this nuttie guy seem not so bad.

Regardless of how awful this fellow may be we need to keep looking in the mirror at our own huge problems and stop looking around scolding the Brit. Just do what is lawful with his firm and be done with it. Get back to business on the Yanks destroying America financially and politically for 30-35 years.

This is like an ER doc obsessing on a sprained ankle patient and barely being attentive at the heart attack patient. Hello is anyone home... ;o

August 16 2012 at 4:18 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
gwhjelm

Stop doing any kind of baking in the US. Then you won't need the F'n Yanks. We love you too, so keep your Iranian lovin AS* out of this country! When they drop the nuclear bomb I hope that it is in the middle of Standard Charter.

August 16 2012 at 1:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
oneshot5555

Have SAS take him into custody and tranfer him to GITMO. Apply,"Enhanced Interrogation"

Treason

Take "ING" with as well.

August 16 2012 at 1:13 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to oneshot5555's comment
Susan

He's not American, idiot. You can't commit treason against a country if you aren't a citizen.

August 16 2012 at 1:54 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Susan's comment
oneshot5555

SAS isn't American either Barbie Doll.

Not too bright R U

August 16 2012 at 2:43 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
kalelreg

Let them drink tea and toast their "King and Queen" in Fairyland.

August 16 2012 at 1:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jason

Were would the world be without the U.S. especially the UK .There would be alot more mayhem and hunger without our intervention so think of that before you call us dumb americans.

August 16 2012 at 1:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sheryl L. Patrick

Interesting civil conversation but MUST REMEMBER ..... IRAN IS AN ENEMY OF THE WESTERN NATIONS
AND CULTURES! WHY would we want to help them financially when their desire is to wipe ISRAEL off the map and then.......COME FOR YOU NEXT! They have very plainly and clearly stated - WE ARE THE INFIDELS!
Are we truly listening.

August 16 2012 at 12:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply