Standard Chartered Bank has been dogged by regulatory scrutiny in recent years. It has been fined billions of dollars since 2012 for compliance violations and has had trouble in showing the source of some of its clients’ wealth. According to sources, in some cases, the private bank lacked even basic data such as addresses and phone numbers of some of its clients.
In April, Standard Chartered Bank had paid US$1.1 billion to settle long-running investigations by United States and United Kingdom authorities into its handling of historical transactions by entities with connections to Iran and its financial crime controls. Similar failings have been found at other major hubs including Singapore, Hong Kong and London.
When CEO Bill Winters took his role in 2015, resolving the outstanding regulatory issues was a priority for Winters as he continued his efforts to turn around the bank’s performance. He had pledged a root-and-branch review of the firm’s compliance protocols to end the run of fines the bank had incurred. However, that did not happen. Last year, two units of the bank were fined about $4.7 million by authorities in Singapore for anti-money-laundering failings over the transfer of client assets from Guernsey to a branch in Singapore.
Following the 2017 review, the Dubai Financial Services Authority ordered the bank to bring in external consultants to act as an independent check on the clean-up. The bank then hired Deloitte LLC and two years later is hoping to wrap up the process, which involved the remediation of an unidentified number of client accounts. The bank’s clientele includes individuals with prominent political or public-sector functions — such as Middle Eastern royals, and African and Asian politicians.
Standard Chartered Bank has said that it accepted “full responsibility” for the violations and deficiencies in its controls. The bank said it cooperated “proactively and fully” with the investigations. There is no evidence of the bank being involved in any wrongdoing.
Date: 17 Sept 2019
Argus Global specializes in regulatory compliance. We can help you determine if your company is up to date with the latest regulations with compliance reviews, and we offer as well ongoing support for all your compliance needs.