Standard Chartered sets aside £688m for UK and US fines

Standard Chartered has put by 900 million US dollars (£688 million) for fines relating to investigations in the UK and the US stretching back more than a decade.

The Asia-focused bank revealed that the provision includes a fresh £102.2 million penalty from the UK City watchdog, while also covering “historical violations of US sanctions laws” and previously-disclosed foreign exchange probes relating to trading issues.

The fine from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – which was reduced by 30% for early settlement – relates to Standard Chartered’s historical financial crime controls.

The details come less than a week before the FTSE 100-listed bank’s full-year figures on February 26, with the provisions being taken in the fourth-quarter results.

But Standard Chartered stressed that it remains in talks with US authorities over investigations on sanctions breaches.

It said: “This provision reflects management’s current view of the appropriate level of provision.

“Resolution of the US investigation and of the FCA process might ultimately result in a different level of penalties.”

It remains under investigation over claims that it breached US sanctions by allowing clients with Iranian interests to make transactions.

The group already paid 667 million US dollars (£510 million) in 2012 to US authorities to settle allegations that it breached sanctions with Iran and hid billions of pounds of transactions.

Standard Chartered’s latest 900 million US dollar provision also includes last month’s 40 million US dollar (£31 million) settlement agreed with US authorities over the manipulation of emerging markets currency pricing.

Gary Greenwood, banking analyst at Shore Capital, said the money set aside was “better than feared”, with some reports suggesting the charge could have been up to 1.5 billion US dollars (£1.1 billion).