Standard Chartered (LON:STAN) has been summoned by the UK financial regulator to a meeting this week over bribery allegations, the Wall Street Journal has reported. The allegations are related to misconduct at an Indonesian power plant builder owned by the bank.
Standard Chartered’s share price has slipped into the red in today’s session, having lost 0.39 percent to 745.90p as of 09:51 BST, slightly underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.18 percent lower at 7,400.63 points. The group’s shares have added a little over a fifth to their value over the past year, and are up by some 12 percent in the year-to-date.
Sources with knowledge of the matter told the WSJ yesterday that StanChart was to meet with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) this week over a whistleblower’s claims of misconduct at MAXpower Group, which builds and operates gas-fired power plants in Southeast Asia. The whistleblower has reportedly alleged that employees paid bribes to win business and that StanChart executives on MAXpower’s board failed to prevent it. MAXpower is majority-owned by the FTSE 100 group’s private equity business, giving the bank several seats on its board.
The Times meanwhile noted in its coverage of the news that the UK lender is already said to have reported the findings of its internal report into the claimed failings to the US Department of Justice, which has begun its own investigation into whether enough was done by the bank to prevent alleged wrongdoing at MAXpower. Reuters noted that a spokesman for the group had declined to comment.
StanChart updated investors on its interim performance last month, posting a rise in half-year profits. The Asia-focused lender, however, disappointed investors as it declared no interim dividend.