Crown Office not keen on catching crooked bankers ? AMID the fallout over allegations made by US regulators of $250billion money laundering schemes at Standard Charted Bank, rumours circulating about the findings of investigations conducted by US & other foreign banking regulators appear to indicate at least one major Scottish Bank bailed out by UK taxpayers is also suspected of laundering billions of pounds for terrorists, rogue states & countries subject to US and international sanctions.
Yesterday, The New York State Department of Financial Services said Standard Chartered, based in the UK has laundered as much as $250bn (£161bn) over nearly a decade. Regulators claimed the bank hid around 60,000 such secret transactions for "Iranian financial institutions" that were subject to US economic sanctions
While the bank denied the allegations, saying that it "strongly rejects the position or portrayal of facts as set out in the order", US regulators labelled UK-based Standard Chartered a "rogue institution" and ordered the bank to "explain these apparent violations of law" from 2001 to 2010, accusing Standard Chartered of falsifying payment directions by stripping the message of unwanted data that showed the clients were Iranian, replacing it with false entries.
While British regulators have said little over the accusations against Standard Chartered, new claims have emerged today that Scottish Banks are also suspected of hiding large money transactions from US regulators, in particular, one Scottish bank which ended up becoming one of the main symbols of the UK’s banking sector collapse amid corporate greed & corruption.
Despite the nature of the claims against the Scottish Bank, it appears UK regulators & politicians have not been so keen for details of the accusations against the bank to emerge, due to the vast amount of public money spent on at least one of the institutions, which is also mired in LIBOR rate fixing allegations.
The Crown Office have not issued comment on its position over the investigation it claims to be “ongoing” into banking failures & corruption in the Scottish banking sector, however details of a Freedom of Information request have been passed to Scottish Law Reporter, containing a statement from Lindsey Miller, Head of the Crown Office Serious & Organised Crime Division who said :
“From December 2011, following the publication of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) report into the failure of the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Crown, in consultation with officials from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has been exploring the significance of the report (in terms of possible prosecution and/or action to have any individuals disqualified as company directors).”
“I lead a team, including my Deputy Head of Division and consultant accountants, who are assessing the work carried out by the FSA. The Division has recently been provided with a significant amount of further information by the FSA which is being examined. Regarding the settlement between the FSA and Barclays Bank in relation to misuse of the LIBOR system, the Lord Advocate instructed that the existing enquiry be extended to assess the FSA investigation in relation to other banks, particularly any based in Scotland. I have written to the Chairman of the FSA and the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) regarding the Crown's interest in considering, if appropriate, prosecution of any individuals or companies who are suspected of having committed offences in Scotland.”
“There has been liaison between SOCD and officials from the FSA and the SFO. The SOCD team already in place will also consider further information provided in relation to the LIBOR investigation and report to the law officers in due course. In order to ensure a full investigation into this matter, which will involve careful consideration of whether any offences have been committed under Scots law, either by individuals or companies and in order to protect the integrity of that investigation, it would be inappropriate to provide more detail at present.”
Commenting on the Crown Office stance, a legal source accused the Crown Office of “attempting to sweep allegations of wrongdoing against Scotland’s banking sector under the carpet”. He went onto predict there will be little if any action taken in Scotland against banks known to be involved in criminality and clear breaches of US sanctions.
A Scottish Government source indicated he was aware of the allegations but that it had nothing to do with the Scottish Government as banks were regulated by the FSA in London, ironically, an arrangement the current Scottish Government want to keep even in the event of independence.