The Worst Is Ahead for Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered has paid the New York Department of Financial Services $340 million to settle charges that it helped Iran interests launder money. Unfortunately for the financial firm, this settlement is only the tip of the iceberg. Standard Chartered will face a series of related charges in both the United States, where federal officials have begun to examine the money laundering charges, and in the United Kingdom. BusinessWeek reports:

The cost of settling with all the regulators may be about $700 million, Cormac Leech, an analyst at Liberum Capital wrote in a note to investors today.

But that is only one man's guess. One settlement with a single state could set a precedent that would allow for much larger penalties at the federal level. With some of the bank's core franchises and profit centers at risk, Standard Chartered likely would pay massive fines, if it can avoid a long legal battle or decisions by governments that would keep it out of some markets.

Douglas A. McIntyre

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Banking