NY Times story here. According to NY state bank regulators, Standard Charter Bank, headquartered in England, routed some 60,000 transactions worth a quarter trillion dollars through their NY branch over a ten year period from 2001-2010. They allege that the banks highest officers knew the transactions were happening, falsified record to hide them, and even made an instruction manual for employees about how to hide the transactions.
The story raises a few questions for me. One thing is that it says the transactions may have been in violation of US law, but nowhere is there a claim that they were in violation of NY state law. So – why didn’t state regulators bring this to the attention of the Feds and move on? My theory is that the falsifications of the transaction records may have run afoul of state law, even if the the transactions themselves didn’t. But the article doesn’t say so. Perhaps this is a case of the coverup being worse than the original crime. Or maybe the falsifications were to shield the bank from the Feds dropping a hammer, but they didn’t think through all their exposure at the local level – perhaps the Feds are taking a closer look at them now, having not caught the falsifications before.
I also found this line from the story interesting.
Is it just me, or should this be the LEAST of their punishment, should the allegations be proven in court?