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Standard Chartered to pay $340 million fine

British Bank Standard Chartered has reached a settlement with New York regulators over allegations it violated US sanctions against Iran. It will pay a $340 million fine for reportedly hiding transactions linked to Iran.

An employee of SC First Bank walks behind a logo at the bank's headquarters in Seoul, South Korea

Standard Chartered Bank

The penalty came on Tuesday after New York regulators charged last week that the London-based bank had hidden 250 billion dollars (202.8 billion euros) worth of transactions with Iranian banks in an effort to dodge US sanctions. The New York Department of Financial Services described the bank as a "rogue institution," alleging that it had "schemed with the Iranian government."

The United States has increased sanctions against Iranian banks, institutions and individuals over the last decade in a bid to impede Iran's controversial nuclear program.

In addition to the $340 million fine, the bank will house a government anti-laundering monitor for two years at its New York branch. It will also appoint in-house auditors to check compliance with US sanctions.

Moreover the banking watchdog ordered Standard Chartered executives to demonstrate at a hearing why its license to operate in New York should not be revoked. The meeting, which was set for Wednesday, has since been adjourned.

ccp/crh (AFP, Reuters, dpa)