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London was left rocking today after news emerged that Standard Chartered had been accused of being a “rogue institution”, transferring £160bn in a series of transactions with the government of Iran.
The bank was slaughtered in the financial markets almost as soon as it opened. Share prices dropped by 18%, or 269p, this afternoon, wiping out £6bn of the company’s total value. The company was also dragged through the dirt by US officials. The regulators in New York said they had opened the US financial system up to terrorists and weapon dealers, who could use it to weaken the nation covertly.
The bank later “strongly rejected” the claims, saying the US authority hadn’t fully grasped the “position or the portrayal of facts”. Standard Charter are based in the UK but predominantly operate in Asia. It was originally thought that the institution was the only London based bank who hadn’t been affected by the recent wave of scandals that had hit the cities bankers. Upon further inspection, however, it emerged that they were potentially the biggest ‘cheaters’ of all. Standard now faces having its right to work in New York removed, with the possibility of not being able to operate anywhere within the United States.
Standard allegedly ‘wire stripped’ their transactions that went through New York to keep their dodgy dealings from being uncovered. Wire Stripping is defined as the act of removing any references to the client, in this case the Iranian government.
At this time there has been no comment from Tehran but Standard Charter have defended themselves, denying any and all claims of wrong doing. Unfortunetly for Standard there has also been evidence found that would suggest the bank have had similar dealings with other ‘outlawed states’, such as Burman, Libya and Sudan.
The investigation continues.