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Standard Chartered latest bank punished by watchdogs as PRA fines it £46.5 million

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The group was handed a £46.5 million fine by the Bank of England (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Archive)
The group was handed a £46.5 million fine by the Bank of England (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Archive)

STANDARD Chartered today became the latest major bank to land in trouble with watchdogs, getting a £46.5 million fine for reporting errors connected to the US dollar.

The Prudential Regulation Authority, overseen by the Bank of England, issued its biggest ever punishment for failures at Standard between March 2018 and May 2019.

The Asia-focused bank should have been more upfront about “additional liquidity expectations” due to market concerns about US dollar outflows.

PRA chief executive Sam Woods said: “We expect firms to notify us promptly of any material issues with their regulatory reporting, which Standard Chartered failed to do in this case. Standard Chartered’s systems, controls and oversight fell significantly below the standards we expect of a systemically important bank.”

In a brief statement, Standard said it accepted the findings of the regulator.

The bank said: “Standard Chartered has cooperated proactively and fully with the PRA’s investigation and has made significant improvements to and substantial investment in its liquidity and regulatory reporting processes and controls and remains committed to accurate regulatory reporting.”

The fine comes days after HSBC was fined £64 million for anti-money laundering failures and a week after NatWest was hit with a £265 million punishment for the same offence in an extraordinary case that saw the bank taking in vast sums of cash in black bin liners, some of which tore open due to the weight of the money.

Today’s fine for Standard Chartered is hardly its first. In April 2019 it paid £842 million to settle allegations of poor anti-money laundering controls and for breaking sanctions over doing business with various countries including Iran.

On today’s issue, the PRA said it had imposed a temporary additional liquidity expectation on Standard Chartered in October 2017 due to concerns about a heightened risk of US dollar liquidity outflows.

While the British bank’s overall liquidity position remained in surplus to its core requirements, it made five errors reporting the liquidity metric between March 2018 and May 2019, the Bank of England said. This meant the PRA did not have a reliable overview of its dollar liquidity position, it added.

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