Standard Chartered's Peace apologises for statement

Image caption Sir John Peace admitted his statements were "legally and factually incorrect"

The chairman of Standard Chartered has been forced to issue an apology for "inaccurate" comments relating to the bank's breach of US trade sanctions.

Earlier this month, Sir John Peace said Standard Chartered "had no wilful act to avoid sanctions".

The bank admitted to the breaches last year, some of which involved Iran, and was fined $667m (£439m) by US regulators in a settlement.

Sir John said his earlier comments had been "legally and factually incorrect".

"I made certain statements that I very much regret and that were at best inaccurate," he said.

"My statement that [Standard Chartered] 'had no wilful act to avoid sanctions' was wrong and directly contradicts [the bank's] acceptance of responsibility in the deferred prosecution agreement.

"[We] retract the comment I made as both legally and factually incorrect.

"To be clear, Standard Chartered 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."

The sanctions violations date from between 2001 and 2007, and involved transactions with Iran, Burma and other countries subject to US sanctions.

Before the agreement with US authorities was reached, the bank claimed the breaches were the result of clerical errors.

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