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British Banks Linked to Trades with Sanctioned Iranian Entities: Standard Chartered Implicated Alongside Lloyds, Santander, and HSBC

A recent report has revealed that a third British bank, Standard Chartered, has been implicated in trades with a sanctioned Iranian government front company. According to The Times, Standard Chartered is accused of providing banking services to a Chinese company involved in importing goods from Arak Petrochemical Company and Bandar Imam Petrochemical Company, both of which are US-sanctioned Iranian firms.

British Banks Linked to Trades with Sanctioned Iranian Entities: Standard Chartered Implicated Alongside Lloyds, Santander, and HSBC

This revelation follows earlier accusations against Lloyds and Santander for allegedly providing accounts to front companies secretly owned by the Iranian oil group, Petrochemical Commercial Company (PCC). The Financial Times reported that these companies were fronts for PCC, accused by the US of raising funds for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force.

Responding to the allegations, a spokesman for Santander UK stated that their investigations did not find any breach of US sanctions, and the bank actively engages with regulators. Similarly, Lloyds asserted that it believed it had not violated sanctions and had fulfilled all legal and regulatory obligations.


The Times further reported that leaked transactions data indicated Standard Chartered may have inadvertently conducted transactions for the sanctioned entity. Leaked banking records suggest that Standard Chartered's services were used for trades totaling £2.1 million between 2020 and 2021 involving the Chinese company and the two Iranian plastics manufacturers through Indian intermediaries.

In response, a spokesman for Standard Chartered stated that the bank couldn't comment on specific clients or relationships but emphasized its commitment to combat financial crime and adhere to the highest compliance standards, including prohibiting transactions involving Iran.

Standard Chartered, which focuses on Asia, Africa, and the Middle East with assets of £820 billion, finds itself embroiled in allegations alongside other British banks. The Financial Times report, based on leaked documents from WikiIran, suggests that PCC's UK division operated secretly from an office in Belgravia, London, using a complex network of front entities in Britain and other countries to receive funds from Iranian entities in China while concealing ownership through trustee agreements and nominee directors.

Furthermore, recent disclosures in The Times implicated HSBC in providing banking services to a company apparently trading with another Iranian front company. A leaked document showed a shipping invoice between a Hong Kong-based company, banking with HSBC, and a Chinese firm believed to be a proxy for PCC, linked to the export of plastics from Iran.

In response to inquiries, a spokeswoman for HSBC reaffirmed the bank's commitment to complying with all applicable sanctions resolutions and regulations in the jurisdictions where it operates.



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