Lloyds TSB has agreed to pay $350m (£230m) to the US authorities in connection with charges that it faked records so clients from Iran, Sudan and Libya could do business with the US banking system. The settlement is embarrassing for Lloyds, which is taking over HBOS as part of last year's government-inspired rescue of British banks that have been hammered by the credit crunch.
Lloyds' actions violated the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which allows the US president to block commerce with countries deemed a threat to the United States.
"Lloyds' criminal conduct was designed to assist its clients in avoiding detection by filters employed by US banks because of United States economic sanctions against Libya, Sudan and Iran," according to documents filed in the case.
The UK bank said: "[We] have undertaken significant steps to further enhance our compliance programmes. We are committed to running our business with the highest levels of integrity."
It's just 'embarrassing'? As for 'the highest levels of integrity', would Lloyds TSB know what morality was if it was slapped in the eye with a £230m fine (as it has just been)?
And don't get me started about the sheer stupidity ...