StanChart fined $300 million for oversight shortfalls

The New York DFS said StanChart's internal compliance systems had failed to detect or act on a large number of 'potentially high-risk transactions' mostly originating from Hong Kong and the UAE


The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has levied a fine of $300 million on Standard Chartered Bank (StanChart) and also imposed certain restrictions on the lender's dollar-clearing business due to inadequate controls on money laundering.


The DFS said the British bank’s internal compliance systems had failed to detect or act on a large number of 'potentially high-risk transactions' mostly originating from Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


The new punishment came two years after the bank paid US regulators $667 million to settle charges that it violated US sanctions by handling thousands of money transactions involving Iran, Myanmar, Libya and Sudan.


A DFS monitor appointed in 2012 to keep an eye on the bank discovered that it had not detected the allegedly high-risk transactions from Hong Kong and the UAE and reported them as it should have, the department said.


“If a bank fails to live up to its commitments, there should be consequences. That is particularly true in an area as serious as anti-money-laundering compliance, which is vital to helping prevent terrorism and vile human rights abuses,” said DFS head Benjamin Lawsky.


The department did not give any information on the nature of the transactions, or whether they proved to involve laundering or not.


In a settlement agreed with the bank, DFS ordered Standard Chartered to halt dollar-clearing operations for unnamed “high-risk retail business clients” of its Hong Kong unit.


The bank is already cutting business with high-risk clients in UAE, but will also not be able to process dollar funds through the United States for them.


Its New York branch is also forbidden to take on any clearing or deposit accounts from new customers without the approval of Lawsky’s office.


The action taken against Standard Chartered is part of an ongoing crackdown by New York state and federal authorities on banks, particularly foreign banks with New York branches, for handling money transfers from countries and individuals blacklisted by Washington for political reasons or for their involvement in criminal activities.


In the largest case, French bank BNP Paribas agreed to pay $8.9 billion in July to settle charges that for years it knowingly violated US sanctions on Iran and Sudan.


BNP Paribas and other banks fined for similar reasons were ordered to implement stringent compliance regimes to ensure they do not break US rules in their dollar-clearing businesses.


2G scam: All accused get bail in money laundering case

ED had chargesheeted 19 accused in the case saying that the transaction of Rs200 crore, which was allegedly paid to DMK-run Kalaignar TV, was 'not genuine' and was a bribe for grant of telecom licences to DB Group companies


A special court of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday granted bail to former minister of telecom A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and seven others, chargesheeted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a 2G scam-related money laundering case.


"All the bail applications are allowed," Special CBI Judge OP Saini said and asked them to furnish a personal bond of Rs5 lakh each and a surety of like amount.


Earlier today, the court granted bail to DMK supremo M Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal, who was also chargesheeted in the case. 83-year-old Ammal was given bail on a personal bond of Rs5 lakh with two sureties of the like amount.


The Court, however, dismissed the plea of Ammal seeking discharge in the case on the ground that she was not well and was suffering from unsoundness of mind.


ED had chargesheeted 19 accused -- 10 individuals and nine companies -- in the case saying that the transaction of Rs200 crore, which was allegedly paid to DMK-run Kalaignar TV, was 'not genuine' and it was a 'bribe for grant of telecom licences to DB Group companies'.


Ammal was holding 60% stake in Kalaignar TV while Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar were holding 20% stake each, the agency had said.


It had also claimed that its probe into the case emanates from 2G spectrum allocation scam and the accused had allegedly conspired and committed offences under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).


Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, ED had named Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Bollywood producer Karim Morani, Ammal and P Amirtham as accused in the case.


They all had moved bail applications which were allowed by the court.


SEBI seeks clarification on Future Retail's rights issue

SEBI said it might issue observations on Future Retail's document within 30 days after receiving satisfactory reply from the company's lead merchant bankers


Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has sought clarification from Kishore Biyani-promoted Future Retail regarding the company's proposed Rs1,600 crore rights issue.


Without disclosing the details of the clarifications sought, SEBI has said that "clarifications (are) awaited from lead manager" for the proposed rights issue.


In a rights issue, shares are issued to existing investors as per their holding at pre-determined price and ratio.


As per the latest weekly update to the processing status of draft offer documents filed with SEBI, the regulator has said clarifications were awaited on the proposed rights issue of Future Retail as on August 15 this year.


The status is updated on a weekly basis by the regulator and the next update of the status as on 22nd August, this year, would be uploaded on SEBI Website on the next working day.


Market regulator said that it might issue observations on Future Retail document within 30 days from the date of receipt of satisfactory reply from the lead merchant bankers to the clarification or additional information sought from them.


The regulator had received the draft offer documents on 22nd July, this year through its lead manager Axis Capital. The company's proposed rights issue is estimated to raise up to Rs1,600 crore.


Future Retail is the flagship company of the Future Group and is into organised multi-format retail business in India.


The company has retail stores in various formats including food, fashion apparels, accessories and footwear, general merchandise, consumer durables and electronics.


The company has pan-India presence with 321 stores in 98 cities as on 31 March 2014.



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2 years ago

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