MANAMA: Standard Chartered has hit out against allegations that it had laundered more than $250 billion (BD94bn) on behalf of Iranian clients.
The London-based bank is facing allegations by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) that it had co-operated with the Iranian government to route approximately 60,000 transactions over a decade.
The bank's Bahrain office stepped in to reassure customers stating that the DFS had presented a distorted picture of the bank's operations.
"We remain open for business and committed to being here for our customers and clients," a Standard Chartered spokeswoman told the GDN.
"The group does not accept the position or the portrayal of facts set out in the order issued by the DFS," she added.
In a corporate statement on its website, the bank stated that over 99.9 per cent of its transactions related to Iran complied with federal regulations.
It further stated that only $14 million worth of transactions did not follow the guidelines. The bank refuted claims that it had flouted US laws and stated it had been conducting a review of its historical compliance.
It had voluntarily approached the US agencies involved with financial regulations, the bank said, and had focused its on-going review on transactions with Iran from 2001 to 2007.
No party designated by the US government during the period as a terrorist entity or organisation formed the bank's clientele, it stated.
It also claimed to have ceased "all new business with Iranian customers in any currency over five years ago".
The bank said discussions with US federal agencies were on-going at the time it received the order from DFS and pledged compliance with laws and regulations.
Standard Chartered faces suspension of licence to operate in New York state, which would deny it access to lucrative dollar markets.
The bank's shares fell by 16.4pc yesterday in London and $17bn had been wiped off its market value.