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Categorized | Insurance

New York regulator asks Lloyd’s about Iran

Posted on August 29, 2013

New York’s leading financial services regulator has called on Lloyd’s of London to provide it with fresh information about the insurance market’s supposed links with companies that do business in Iran.

Lloyd’s had acknowledged to the state’s Department of Financial Services that some of its members had contracts with two companies that had done business in the Islamic republic, said people with knowledge of the matter.

    The regulator, led by Benjamin Lawsky, has asked Lloyd’s to provide it with details of enquiries the market has made about its members’ compliance with Washington’s intensified sanctions against the country.

    The department has been probing alleged links of non-US insurers with Iran after President Barack Obama signed new rules into law this year that restrict companies’ dealings.

    The rules target Iran’s energy and shipping industries but such companies rely on insurers to manage their risks. Failure to comply could result in tough punishments of non-US companies’ American operations.

    Mr Lawsky’s investigation takes place as he aggressively scrutinises the financial services sector.

    In June, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ agreed to pay $250m for violating New York state’s banking laws over transactions involving Iran, Sudan and Myanmar.

    Last year, the regulator alleged Standard Chartered hid $250m in transactions with Iran’s government, moving ahead of federal regulators. The bank eventually agreed to pay a $340m fine to the New York regulator, as well as another $327m to other US authorities.

    In a statement, Lloyd’s said: “The New York regulator is engaged in an industry-wide review. Lloyd’s takes sanctions compliance very seriously and there is no evidence of any breach.”