Standard Chartered reportedly facing $1.5bn civil suit over Iran sanctions

Pedro Gonçalves
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Standard Chartered reportedly facing $1.5bn civil suit over Iran sanctions

British banking giant Standard Chartered could face a new £1.5bn fine for breaking US sanctions against Iran after a civil case was filed by whistleblowers according to The Mail on Sunday.

The lender recently agreed to pay $1.1bn (£843m) to settle the case with American and British authorities for violating sanctions against Iran and over inadequate financial crime controls. Under the US False Claims Act whistleblowers are eligible to receive a share of the damages awarded against a company.

The penalties, imposed in connection with a range of different investigations in the US and the UK, all date back to before 2014.

However,  now two whistleblowers who claim to have prompted the criminal investigation have launched a civil case against Standard Chartered in the US. If their case is successful, they could win millions  in payouts.

Under US law, Standard Chartered could be fined three times the damages awarded to the US Government, which received $639m of the $1.1bn

A judge has agreed to make available papers detailing the civil case and the documents are expected to be online within days, the newspaper said.

One of the whistleblowers is a Briton who was a senior executive at Standard Chartered. He says he flagged up concerns about the bank's Iranian clients and its client monitoring systems in 2011, shortly before he left the bank.

In 2012, he went to the US authorities with an American whistleblower and handed over details. The pair then filed an application under the US False Claims Act, which allows whistleblowers to receive a share of the damages awarded against a company.

A spokesman for Standard Chartered said: "We have not been served with any lawsuit similar to what you've described. However, we are aware of a previously dismissed lawsuit that made apparently similar allegations.

"That complaint, which was filed by a private company, was without merit and the plaintiff dismissed it voluntarily. The federal authorities declined to join that suit."

 

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