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Deloitte has agreed to a $10 million fine and one-year ban from advising banks chartered in New York in a settlement with state officials, according to Dealbook.
Tuesday’s settlement stems from a case of alleged misconduct during Deloitte’s work for Standard Chartered bank in 2004 and 2005. Deloitte is accused of “watering down” reports of Standard Charter’s alleged transferring of billions of dollars to Iran.
The announcement follows a $340 million settlement New York reached with Standard Chartered in August. The Times noted that Tuesday’s development was noteworthy, as Deloitte has not been previously accused of improper actions.
Deloitte stated in 2012 that the charges were "unsupported by the facts," and denied operating as anything other than an independent consultant in its work with Standard Chartered. Implications of the consultant's potential misconduct surfaced in late 2011, Reuters reported.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration finalized the settlement between his state and Deloitte on Tuesday in what is seen as a major victory for the state’s top regulator, Benjamin Lawsky.
The state blamed Deloitte of failing to show "autonomy and objectivity," and stopped short of accusing it of illegally laundering money to the foreign nation.
Benjamin Lawsky, New York's top banking regulator, believes the accusations to be consistent with the environment that has infected the consulting industry. Lawsky stressed that the settlement was an important step in ensuring that "consultants are independent voices" who are not "beholden to large financial institutions," Dealbook reported.
Deloitte issued a statement in which it voluntarily accepted the settlement, and took responsibility. It further committed itself to continually elevating the standards of its work in the statement.
As noted in Dealbook, this is just the first step in what is likely to be a larger crackdown on New York-based consulting firms.
Read the full report from The New York Times produced Dealbook here.