Investors raise questions over Standard Chartered’s defence

Kasmira Jefford
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SHARES in Standard Chartered languished 13 per cent below their price on Monday, before the allegations it violated US sanctions against Iran.

Despite a thee per cent rise in the share price yesterday, investors question Standard’s defence.

The bank, which until recently enjoyed one of the cleanest reputations in British banking, lost more than a quarter of its market value in 24 hours after New York regulators accused it of hiding $250bn (£160bn) of transactions for Iranian firms.

Despite the bank’s assertion that just $14m of deals violated US sanctions, one top shareholder yesterday said: “Even if it is only $14m, they have still committed a crime, and they are still guilty.”

Speculation that the bank could sue the New York regulator for damage to its reputation also added to investor concerns, one analyst noted, adding that such a move could sour relationships.

Meanwhile South Korean regulators yesterday revealed plans for spot checks on local operations of Standard Chartered and HSBC as a result of the money laundering allegations in the US and Mexico.