Aug.14 - Standard Chartered's CEO Peter Sands has flown to New York to take personal control of the bank's attempts to reach a settlement with US regulators over allegations it hid transactions involving Iran. Sonia Legg reports.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~**NONE** Standard Chartered's CEO Peter Sands has flown to the States to personally try to negotiate a settlement with New York regulators. The UK bank denies hiding $250 billion worth of transactions involving Iran. The accusations were made by New York's Department of Financial Services which has called a hearing for Wednesday. A settlement of 250 - 350 million dollars is reportedly on the table. And World First's Jeremy Cook says preventing any further reputational damage is vital. (SOUNDBITE) (English): JEREMY COOK, CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD FIRST, SAYING: "Standard Chartered probably doesn't want anything else to come out in the New York court and would be quite happy to settle out of court. Other banks have settled out of court in the past to the tune of 500m dollars in the past as far as compensation goes so I think Standard Chartered are very very happy to be able to go and talk to these regulators in New York and hopefully pay some cash to keep everything quiet." Cook says the DFS may also be keen to settle out of court as the two sides have wildly differing estimates of the value of the transactions involved. Standard Chartered says the regulator's 250 billion figure is less than $14 million. (SOUNDBITE) (English): JEREMY COOK, CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD FIRST, SAYING: "If Standard Chartered's figures appear to be more correct than that of the regulator then they are going to have the row it back - obviously there is an incentive for the regulator as they get to split some of the compensation with the Department of Justice so maybe that's why they have gone out so full board but certainly they have attracted a lot of criticism from the side lines." If an out of court settlement is not reached Sands will have to demonstrate why Standard Chartered's state banking licence should not be revoked. That prospect has reportedly led the UK government to indulge in some "quiet diplomacy" to ensure a fair hearing. Sonia Legg, Reuters.