Brian Sullivan: CNBC Street Signs with Brian. Thank you. Shocking stories surrounding Standard Chartered bank following accusations they did illegal business with iran. Following a string of actions by U.S. regulators against big British banks. We had them against Barclays and others as well. One market watcher [Sean Corrigan, chief investment officer of Diapason Commodities Management] whined a bit about America's harsh treatment about banks beyond our borders.
AK: Here's how CNBC US transcript was reported it here (notice the redactions of the yellow text script and the substitutions in blue) http://www.cnbc.com/id/48237309 :
"Why is it always a Swiss bank or German bank doing these evil things? Doing money laundering and financing terrorists? There's never an American bank involved because they're in the pocket of the American banking lobby. There's so many since in the world including the American banking system sit at home but most authorities never go after an american bank. they go after somebody abroad. This is ludicrous."AK: Here's the unedited original text from CNBC Europe http://www.cnbc.com/id/46484789 :
"Why is it always a British bank, or a Chinese bank or a German or a Swiss bank who are doing all these evil things around the world? Manipulating Libor and money laundering and financing terrorists and all these other... There is never American bank involved because they are all in the pocket of the American banking lobby ... all the sins, there are so many sins in the world which any commentator including within the American banking system will tell you sit at home but the American authorities never go after an American bank, they try and bully somebody abroad, this is ludicrous"
Brian Sullivan: Wow. Are the banks in the pockets of lobbyists? And do regulators never go after American banks?
John Carney: This is complete hogwash. Just a couple years ago they paid $550 million in fines. JP Morgan was brought up on charges by NYMEX. Earlier this year they paid $20million in fines. The year before that, they paid $150 million in fines for doing mortgage related funny business. The idea our regulators aren't going after our banks is crazy.
Amanda Drury: It is true the U.S. banks can open up their wallets to influence congress?
John Carney: That is true. They do have influence in Congress, not just the U.S.banks. Foreign banks also donate to American electoral campaigns all the time.
Brian Sullivan: Take that, Mandy.
Amanda Drury: Whoa. Two against one.
John Carney: And manipulating the political system as any U.S. bank, the U.S. banks do -- it's true, U.S. regulators do go after foreign banks just like they do domestic banks. That's because we let them operate here.
Amanda Drury: Right.
John Carney: We have the most open financial system in the world. that's why they get in trouble. What about with Iran, Barclay, Credit Suisse all agreed to paying fines for doing business with these banks? We have LIBOR for years and years and years -- are they misbehaving more? I don't think they're misbehaving more, its just about as much as American banks.
[Missing from the transcript] Amanda Drury: So what's with these foreign banks doing dirty dealings with Iran? For example Barclays, Lloyds, Credit Suisse, ING, they've all agreed to pay fines
Brian Sullivan: Are the fines more severe for foreign banks? Standard Charter could lose its banking license.
John Carney: When you're accused to giving money to countries that sponsor terrorism, you damn well should lose your license. We're talking hundreds of millions of record fines paid by Goldman Sachs for allegedly cheating a German bank. We were protecting a German bank and finding one of our own.
Amanda Drury: [So] you think it's a fair playing field?
John Carney: I think it's a fair playing field. If anything, we give [the benefit of the]doubt to foreign banks because we think their home regulators will investigate them. That's probably wrong. If anything, the foreign ones are in their pockets. U.S. regulators hate this charge, hate the idea. I spoke to somebody at the Treasury department who said, we think this is ridiculous, but defensive, about the idea the U.S. is harder on foreign banks.
Amanda Drury: John, always good to have you on the show.