MF Global’s Great Escape:Well it looks like another Wall Street firm that put customers in jeopardy will escape criminal prosecution. The probe into MF Global’s collapse, and the loss of $1 billion in customer funds that came with it, will likely end without any criminal charges against executives, The New York Timesreports. After a 10 month probe, investigators are convinced that it was just chaos and loose risk controls that caused the loss, not actual fraud.
Still, the executives may not get off completely scot free. James Giddens, the trustee in charge of MF Global’s bankruptcy, agreed to work with lawyers suing the firm’sformer executives for not protecting customer funds, according to The Wall Street Journal. The move will likely speed up the cases and give the lawyers access to the documents the Giddens has uncovered in his probe. The agreement still has to beapproved by the bankruptcy court, according to the Financial Times.
Money Laundering Will Apparently Cost You: Standard Chartered agreed to pay a $340 million fine to a New York state regulator to settle Iran money laundering claims, but that may not be the half, or third, of it. The bank may have to pay up to $1 billion to other regulators including the U.S. Treasury and the Justice Department in order to settle the allegations, Bloomberg reports. The deal with the New York regulator allowed Standard Chartered to keep its New York banking license and settled claims that the bank laundered $250 billion to Iran and hid it from regulators.
The settlement was a victory for Benjamin Lawsky and his upstart New York Department of Financial Services, but it upset the British Financial Services Authority— the agency responsible for regulating Standard Chartered in the U.K. — which was notified of the allegations just 90 minutes before the DFS made the announcement, according to the Wall Street Journal. They weren’t the only upset regulators; federal watchdogs in the U.S. expressed concern over Lawsky’s decision to actually charge someone with something, while they were still poking around.
The bank is hoping it can get weasel a one-stop-shop agreement with the federal regulators, according to Reuters.
Big Banks Hit In Another Libor Probe: That pesky Libor scandal just won’t go away. JPMorgan Chase, HSBC and Barclays are among the group of seven banks subpoenaed by New York and Connecticut over allegations they manipulated Libor, Bloomberg reports. The joint probe led by the two states’ attorneys general could expand to include more banks. The subpoeanas come on top of investigations by American and British regulators.