StanChart's U.S. sanctions scrutiny extended

People walk outside the main branch of Standard Chartered in Hong Kong, China August 1, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

(Reuters) - Standard Chartered STAN.L has agreed to a further extension of its U.S. deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) until the end of December this year, it said on Friday.

StanChart entered the DPA with the U.S. Department of Justice and New York County District Attorney’s Office in December 2012, accepting that it had broken laws by processing payments for sanctions targets in countries including Iran, Burma, Sudan and Libya.

The bank avoided prosecution in exchange for a cash settlement of $327 million and an agreement with the U.S. authorities to improve its sanctions compliance.

“The group has taken a number of steps and made significant progress toward compliance with the requirements of the DPA and enhancing its sanctions compliance program,” StanChart said in a statement. “But that the program has not yet reached the standard required by the DPA.”

The DPA was extended for three years in 2014 and a further nine months in November 2017 as StanChart sought to strengthen its controls under the scrutiny of an independent monitor.

The bank is also being investigated over whether it continued to violate Iran-related sanctions after 2007.

“The agreement also indicates that the group continues to co-operate with an ongoing U.S. sanctions-related investigation, but that additional time is needed,” StanChart said.

Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by David Goodman