Standard Chartered becomes latest bank to say sorry

Peter Sands, Standard Chartered's chief, has apologised today. Photo: REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

After accusations of money laundering on behalf of the Iranian regime, the chief executive of Standard Chartered Bank has become the latest City chief executive to say "sorry".

The bank admits $14m worth of transactions with Iran were badly handled but he still disputes the much bigger charges of dodgy transactions worth more than £160 billion.

He says there are many things in the claims made by the New York Financial Authority that the bank does not understand or are factually inaccurate, even going so far as to say that the authorities have contradicted information the bank passed on.

And as for the claims that a Standard Chartered executive in London told the "f------ Americans" to back off, and not try to tell those dealing with Iran what to do? The bank this afternoon has said that quote was not accurate.

The bank admitted this afternoon, "this is a very serious and difficult set of issues" they have faced. But they made adamantly clear that they "reject" the main accusations, and the boss ended this afternoon's conference call by saying there is "nothing wrong" with the culture at Standard Chartered.

Fundamentally he says those at the bank try to do the right thing. How will the American authorities respond?

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