Standard Chartered PLC (LON:STAN) (LON:STAC) (HKG:2888)’s chairman has reportedly retracted some comments he made on the company’s latest earnings call, which was held earlier this month. The comments were about the settlement the bank made in connection with money laundering allegations last year.
The U.S. had accused Standard Chartered PLC (LON:STAN) (LON:STAC) (HKG:2888) of laundering money for clients in Sudan and Iran. During the company’s earnings call, Chairman John Peace called the questionable transactions “clerical errors” and said that the bank “had no willful act to avoid sanctions.”
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According to DealBook, Peace issued an official retraction for those words because they went against the settlement it made with U.S. authorities. Standard Chartered PLC (LON:STAN) (LON:STAC) (HKG:2888) settled with the U.S. last year for a total fine of $667 million.
That settlement included a deferred prosecution agreement with the Manhattan district attorney’s office and the U.S. Department of Justice. The bank also admitted to “making false statements” and “falsifying records.”
In the statement released today, Peace said that his comment “directly contradicts Standard Chartered’s acceptance of responsibility.”
Standard Chartered PLC (LON:STAN) (LON:STAC) (HKG:2888) isn’t the only British bank to be under fire by government officials, both in the U.S. and in Europe. The Libor rigging scandal has affected several European banks, including The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (NYSE:RBS) (LON:RBS) and Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC), both of which had to pay millions of dollars in fines.
Also HSBC Holdings plc (LON:HSBA) (NYSE:HBC) paid a record $1.2 billion fine in December as part of a settlement on money laundering charges similar to those faced by Standard Chartered.