When I want to know about banking and finance I come to Refi Review - Reader
February 5, 2024

Lloyds and Santander accused: aiding Iranian front companies with accounts.

Santander UK and Lloyds Banking Group have been accused of providing bank accounts for front companies that helped Iranian entities evade US sanctions. According to documents seen by the Financial Times, Santander UK allegedly held a business bank account that was used by a front company registered to a detached house in Surrey to move money. Lloyds was alleged to have allowed a separate front company to move money through one of its accounts. The two lenders deny any wrongdoing but investors sold off shares in both banks amid concerns of potential penalties if they are found to have aided Iran’s Petrochemical Commercial Company (PCC) in breaching US sanctions.

This news raises concerns over whether the UK’s financial system is being used to launder money or hide illicit payments. Liam Byrne, Labour MP and chair of the business and trade committee, has criticised the failure to act in line with the US to shut down the financing of a “hostile regime”. The share prices of Lloyds and Santander were affected, with Santander’s shares falling by more than 3%.