April 1, 2019 / 2:47 PM / 19 days ago

StanChart extends U.S. deferred prosecution agreement by 10 days

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A logo of Standard Chartered is displayed at its main branch in Hong Kong, China August 1, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Standard Chartered has agreed a 10-day extension of its deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with United States authorities over Iranian sanctions violations, suggesting the conclusion of a probe into its behavior may be near.

The bank said on Monday the short extension will run until April 10, implying it could soon reach a settlement with U.S. authorities over whether it continued to violate sanctions after 2007 when it said it would no longer do business with Iran.

“This brief extension will allow additional time to resolve the outstanding investigation into our historical U.S. sanctions compliance,” a StanChart spokeswoman said.

The bank has already paid $667 million for sanctions violations prior to 2007, and has warned in its most recent annual report that resolving the U.S. probe could mean “substantial monetary penalties.”

The lender said that the fresh agreement does not include the independent monitor installed in the bank and tasked with checking on its efforts to improve sanctions compliance, meaning the monitor’s term ended on March 31.

StanChart has been subject to the DPA with the United States since 2012, when it promised to end dealings with clients linked to Iran and to improve its compliance systems to prevent such activity happening again.

The DPA, which carries the threat of a bigger penalty if Standard Chartered breaks the terms of the settlement, had been due to expire on March 31 after it was extended in 2014, 2017 and 2018.

Reporting by Lawrence White; Editing by David Goodman and David Evans

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