Standard Chartered chairman Sir John Peace has apologised for making “inaccurate” comments at a press conference earlier this month when speaking about the bank’s breach of sanctions with Iran last year.
Standard Chartered, which is a UK-listed bank earning the bulk of its revenues in regions such as Asia, was fined $667 million by the US department of justice and the New York County district office in December 2012, when it was revealed that the bank had hidden some $250 billion worth of transactions with Iran.
“We had no wilful act to avoid sanctions. You know, mistakes are made - clerical errors - and we talked about last year a number of transactions which clearly were clerical errors or mistakes that were made,” said Peace, in the telephone conference on 5 March.
In his apology statement Peace retracted these comments and said: "My statement that SCB 'had no wilful act to avoid sanctions' was wrong, and directly contradicts SCB’s acceptance of responsibility in the deferred prosecution agreement and accompanying factual statement."
“Standard Chartered Bank unequivocally acknowledges and accepts responsibility, on behalf of the Bank and its employees, for past knowing and wilful criminal conduct in violating US economic sanctions laws and regulations, and related New York criminal laws, as set out in the deferred prosecution agreement,” said Peace.
Peace joined the Board of Standard Chartered PLC in 2007 as Deputy Chairman and was appointed Chairman in 2009. He is also chairman of UK fashion giant Burberry and UK-listed information services firm Experian.