Thumbs up to New York’s Superintendant of Financial Services, Benjamin Lawsky, for his handling of the Standard-Chartered Bank money laundering scandal.
As our readers are aware, Standard Chartered had been flouting U.S. banking regulations for some time now, as well as economic sanctions against the Iran. Previously, the bank’s executive director allegedly responded as saying “You f—ing Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with Iranians?”
Well, if you’re going to do business in our country, you’re going to do it by our rules. And no amount of self-righteous indignation is going to change that inconvenient little reality.
Lawsky and his colleagues reached a settlement with Standard Chartered, in which the bank agreed to pay $340 million in fines for their violations. Perhaps more importantly, Standard Chartered has to take on a monitor, chosen by Lawsky’s office, to keep an eye on the bank’s international transactions and hopefully prevent any further funny business. SCB will also be appointing its own auditors in New York to ensure compliance with U.S. money-laundering laws.
It’s also worth noting that negotiations between the bank and other U.S. regulators—including the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, the Department of Justice, and the Manhattan D.A.– are still ongoing, so this settlement with the Department of Financial Services is far from the last word.
There’s still a lot of work left to be done, but we at the Jewish Voice would like to say kol hakavod (kudos) to Benjamin Lawsky and his entire department. Keep making us proud!