Standard Chartered faces fresh claims of handling payments for terror groups

British bank Standard Chartered is facing fresh allegations that it facilitated billions of dollars worth of banking transactions for Iran and terrorist groups, in new court documents filed in the US.

Whistleblowers – including a former executive at the bank, Julian Knight – are attempting to reopen a case against Standard Chartered with what they claim is newly uncovered evidence showing that the bank violated US and international sanctions against Iran.

The London-listed banking giant, which focuses its operations in Asian markets, said the claims are “fabricated” and underpinned by “false allegations”.

The bank avoided prosecution in the US in 2012 when the UK Government intervened on its behalf, but it has faced a long-running court battle in the years since.

The whistleblowers are now accusing the US government of committing a “colossal fraud on this court” over the thoroughness of its investigation into the alleged sanctions violations in 2012 and 2013.

In a court document filed in New York on Friday, new allegations based on freshly-analysed data claim that Standard Chartered “facilitated many billions of dollars in banking transactions for Iran, numerous international terror groups, and the front companies for those groups”.

It names Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban and al Qaida among the groups the bank allegedly funded.

The whistleblowers, filing under the name Brutus Trading, claim they have identified 100 billion US dollars (£77.4 billion) worth of transactions between Standard Chartered and Iranian-related clients.

“With the assistance of forensic data analysis, Brutus was only recently able to reveal or ‘decloak’ countless illegal transactions that were hidden deep in the bank’s electronic spreadsheets, which Brutus gave to the government,” the document filed on Friday read.

“One cannot overstate the significance of that discovery.”

They now want to reverse the previous dismissal of their claims and revive the lawsuit.

Standard Chartered said the filings are “another attempt to use fabricated claims against the bank, following previous unsuccessful attempts”.

A spokesman said: “The false allegations underpinning it have been thoroughly discredited by the US authorities who undertook a comprehensive investigation into the claims and said they were ‘meritless’ and did not show any violations of US sanctions.

“We are confident the courts will reject these claims, as they have already done repeatedly.”

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