Standard Chartered, the UK-listed bank which earns the bulk of its revenues in Asia, is reportedly ready to pay a fine to settle charges of breaking US sanctions on Iran but is holding out until US regulators agree to retract the emotive language used in their order, according to the Daily Telegraph newspaper.
The bank concedes it is prepared to pay a "large fine" to Benjamin Lawsky, the combative Superintendent of New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) and other US authorities. But the bank has said it will not yield until the regulator has "toned down" the presentation of its charges.
Lawsky has summoned Standard Chartered to a hearing on Wednesday to "demonstrate why [its] license to operate in the state of New York should not be revoked." He claimed "flagrantly deception actions" by the bank left the US "vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes," the report said.
In a statement last week, StanChart said it “strongly rejects the position or the portrayal of facts as set out in the order issued by the DFS.”
The newspaper reported that an identified source “close to the bank” said: "Standard Chartered is resolved to the fact that it is facing a big fine. But the bank feels it cannot agree to the charges as presented by Mr Lawsky. Neither side wants this week's hearing to go ahead but at the moment they are a gulf apart on the charges."
The bank faces an estimated fine of around $1 billion and potential costs to the business of as much as $5 billion, according to analysts, the report added.