Board changes afoot at Standard Chartered18/08/2012 - 13:45:35
Standard Chartered will make changes to its board of directors after the bank this week agreed a settlement with regulators over allegations that it hid transactions with the Iranian government.
The boardroom overhaul is expected to affect non-executive directors, many of whom were appointed before the start of the financial crisis in 2008.
But the bank denied the move is in response to investor discontent over claims by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) that through its dealings with Iranian state-owned banks Standard had exposed the United States to terrorists, drug kingpins and weapons dealers.
The 160-year-old bank this week agreed a settlement of $340m (€275m) over the Iran allegations.
A spokesman for Standard Chartered said: “Our chairman, Sir John Peace, said at our annual general meeting this year that there are likely to be further changes to our board through 2012 and 2013.
“We cannot comment on the precise timing before any official announcements.”
Despite facing criticism from investors over the fiasco, chief executive Peter Sands and finance director Richard Meddings’s jobs are not thought to be in danger.
The immediate aftermath of the claims that Standard hid $250bn (€202bn) of transactions saw £6bn (€7.6m) wiped from its value, although shares recovered after it agreed the “lower than anticipated” settlement.
Standard was previously described by DFS superintendent Benjamin Lawsky as having “operated as a rogue institution”.
Between January 2001 and 2010, it conspired with Iranian clients to route payments through New York after stripping information from wire transfer messages used to identify sanctioned countries, the regulator claimed.
The bank moved 60,000 transactions through its New York branch that were subject to US economic sanctions, and then covered up the dealings, the financial watchdog claimed.
Standard, which employs 2,100 staff in the UK, originally said in a statement it “strongly rejected” the portrayal by the DFS and claimed 99.9% of its dealings with Iran complied with regulations.
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