UK banking giant Standard Chartered Plc agreed to pay $340 million to New York's bank regulator over transactions linked to Iran, in a speedily-arranged deal that helped push up the emerging market-focused lender's shares.
The deal with New York Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky late on Tuesday caps a week of transatlantic tension and a furore over why a state agency had upstaged other authorities. The British bank still faces a separate probe of its Iran-linked transactions by other US agencies.
The resolution also averted a hearing on Wednesday at which the bank had been called to demonstrate why its license to do business in New York should not be revoked.
Standard Chartered's Hong Kong shares rose as much as 6.8% to HK$177, still nearly 6% below where they were before the allegations hit the bank.
"Standard Chartered has probably done the right thing. You just pay up and get on with life however innocent you feel you are. Otherwise, it's something that could hang over you for years," said Hugh Young, Asia managing director at Aberdeen Asset Management, Standard Chartered's third-biggest shareholder.
The settlement agreed by the bank is equal to less than 9% of its first-half pre-tax profit. At the latest levels, Standard Chartered's market value is around $3.5 billion less than it was before Lawsky's allegations.