Some experts believe that the enormous fines that today have to be paid to non-American (primarily European) banks are part of the US financial recovery campaign announced by the US president. Others believe that fines are a new means of competition for US banks against European banks. Still others believe that the mechanism for levying fines is part of a global project of US ruling circles to strengthen America’s geopolitical superiority over the Old World and over the whole world. There are other versions of what today has often been called the dollar "racket" ...
On the one hand, after the 11 events of September 2001, the United States began to vigorously enact laws to combat money laundering, corruption, terrorist financing, tax evasion, organized crime, drug trafficking, cybercrime and other security threats. It is noteworthy that the new generation of laws enacted in the United States has an extraterritorial character. This means that if the security threat to America is created by actions (financial transactions) of foreign banks, companies and individuals outside of America itself, these people may nevertheless be subject to legal liability. Such foreign banks, companies and individuals can be awarded by American courts to pay fines and other types of punishment. Given that in America there is a case law of the decisions of the US courts on the fines for non-residents today are stamped almost automatically. In addition, the United States is initiating the development and signing by other countries of various international conventions to combat the above threats. Such conventions are becoming an additional argument for penalizing non-US violators in the United States.
On the other hand, in order to track all violations of foreign banks, companies and individuals outside of the United States, Washington has for decades created a global financial information system. Such a system, as I already wrote in my article “The World Under the Information Cap of the Special Services and Banks” (World Under Eagle Eye of the US Government and Banks), allows you to monitor all actions of non-residents in the world, to fix all violations of American “rules of the game” outside the US .
History Standard Chartered
Standard Chartered - until last year, one of the most mysterious banks. It was established in the middle of the last century in the UK and is considered a bank within the Rothschild Empire. Like the Rothschilds themselves, Standard Chartered Bank preferred to remain in the shadow after World War II, but in terms of the scale of its operations it was among the largest European banks. 90-95% of the balance sheet profit in recent years, the bank received from operations outside the US, UK, continental Europe. In August, 2012, the bank had to "light up" - because of the scandal, initiated by the US Department of Financial Services (DFS). He charged that Standard Chartered conducted illegal transactions aimed at supporting the Islamic Republic of Iran. According to DFS, it is about a quarter trillion dollars, and the funds were transferred in the interests of Iranian citizens between British and Middle Eastern banks with the help of the New York branch. Moreover, according to the American authorities, Standard Chartered could be associated with terrorist and extremist organizations in Libya, Sudan and Myanmar, which are also in the area of sanctions imposed by the United States. The New York Financial Services Authority (a DFS business unit) said: “For nearly 10 for years, the bank has been drawing up schemes with the Iranian government and has hidden thousands of secret transactions worth 60 billion from the regulators around 250.” As noted, Standard Chartered spent funds through its New York subdivision in the interests of Iranian financial clients, including the Central Bank of Iran and state-controlled Bank Saderat and Bank Melli, subject to sanctions. USA. In the center of the scandal - the so-called "transit payments" ("U-Turns"), in which funds did not come from Iran and did not fall into this country, but in the interests of Iranians moved between British and Middle Eastern banks with the help of the New York branch of Standard Chartered . The US Treasury banned such operations in November 2008, due to concerns that they are used to circumvent the sanctions. According to the regulator, such actions caused harm to the entire US financial system, making it vulnerable to traders weapons, drug business and terrorists. In the end, the US authorities demanded that the bank pay a fine of $ 667 million. According to media reports, the fine has already been paid.
"Haircut" of other foreign banks
The system of control over bank transactions is an important condition for competition between banks in the USA and Western Europe. Especially the American side is worried about the banks of the City of London, so they are under the special sight of the American special services. All banks charged last year in cooperation with Iran have British or Dutch ancestry. In June, the Dutch bank ING recognized a violation of the sanctions regime against Iran and agreed to pay the US authorities a huge 2012 fine of millions of dollars for violating sanctions against Iran (and according to some sources, against Cuba). At that time, this fine was the largest in the entire history of the violation of sanctions.
The British bank Barclays PLC agreed to pay 453 millions of dollars after an investigation by the US and UK authorities revealed that the bank committed serious irregularities in making deposit-and-credit operations, actually participating in money laundering.
In the summer of 2012, the US Senate took over the British bank HSBC Holding, which, according to US intelligence, was engaged in operations in the US-controlled territory of Mexico, serving Mexican drug traffickers. The bank was also accused of violating sanctions against Iran. As early as December 2012, HSBC announced that it was ready to pay a fine to the US authorities for a total of $ 1,92 billion.
In 2012, the scandal over manipulation of the interbank lending rate LIBOR reached its climax. For a number of years, the largest European (first of all, British) and American banks were engaged in manipulations; these manipulations allowed them to get rich illegally. The investigation into the frauds with LIBOR was launched in 2008 and, in addition to Barclays, affected such major banks as the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group, Citigroup, HSBC, UBS and Deutsche Bank, with Barclays becoming the first bank to accept its responsibility. Last year, followed by a series of investigations by financial supervisors in the United States, Britain, Switzerland, and some other European countries about these manipulations. Large fines were imposed on the banks. I must say that the penalties for these manipulations were much more significant than in Europe. Thus, the Swiss bank UBS for manipulating the LIBOR rate last December announced that it would pay fines of about 1,4 billion Swiss francs (1,5 billion dollars).
American FATCA law and foreign banks
Serious problems for foreign banks may arise due to the fact that this year the American law on the taxation of foreign accounts - FATCA (Foreign Account Tax and Compliance Act) - has been fully implemented. According to this law, foreign banks will be required to report to the US Tax Administration all customers that may be related to the United States (citizenship or residence permit), to disclose data on their operations and account balances. If the state or the bank refuses to comply with the requirements of FATCA, the United States will withhold an 30-interest tax on all the income of such banks from US sources. Thus, the US tax authorities take control of the global financial system. Even if an American (citizen or resident, including the owner of a “green card”) did not report on his foreign accounts and companies, now a foreign bank will be engaged in this. It is possible that some small financial institutions outside the United States will refuse to serve American customers altogether so as not to get involved in rather cumbersome procedures for reporting to the US tax service on their accounts. However, they still have to conclude an agreement with the American tax service, otherwise they will fall under the penalty tax even in the absence of clients from the United States. Accordingly, now those information about the American taxpayers that the United States tax service had to extract in the past (at least remember the story of the Swiss bank UBS) will be provided to it by foreign banks on a regular basis and voluntarily.
In March, the US Tax Service 2013 announced that it intends to seek out its debtors worldwide and expects to receive 5 billion dollars in fines from foreign banks that harbor them. First on the list are banks in India, Israel, Hong Kong and Singapore. The precedent was sanctions against the Swiss bank Wegelin, which had no business in America. This calls into question the preservation of bank secrecy and prepares the financial sector for FATCA rules, lawyers say.
"The government will not abandon efforts in pursuit of wealthy Americans who have secret accounts in offshore areas, especially since he will soon have a new tool," says Mark Matthew, a former head of the division in the US Tax Service, and now a lawyer at Caplin & Drysdale. Over the past four years, the US government has already been able to get 5,5 billion dollars as a supplement to taxes and fines.
The decision on the possibility of sanctions against a foreign bank that does not operate in the United States was 4 in March 2013. The oldest private bank in Switzerland, Wegelin, was fined by the US authorities 74 million for violating tax laws. Wegelin was founded in 1741 year and was considered one of the most prestigious banks in the country. The bank did not have any offices or offices in the United States, so he was sure that he was not threatened with punishment, it follows from the case file. In January, 2013, the bank admitted that it turned a blind eye to the actions of its American clients who evaded taxes. Most likely, immediately after the payment of a fine, Wegelin will be closed. Due to legal proceedings, the bank practically ceased operations, clients began to withdraw funds. Wegelin became the main tax evasion bank for Americans after the Swiss bank UBS in 2009 entered into an agreement with the authorities. UBS agreed to violate bank secrecy and gave the US authorities the names of 4500 customers (the US insisted on information on 52 thousands of non-resident accounts). However, the bank had to pay 780 a million dollars fine. Another 20 million dollars the bank lost due to the flight of customers, frightened by the bank's readiness to soften the law on bank secrecy.
New York as the center of the dollar racket
Not only banks, but also companies from the non-financial sector of the economy come into the view of the American authorities. Here we can talk not only about the violation of US sanctions against certain countries, but also about corruption violations and crimes in other countries. For example, in 2010, the US Department of Justice accused the German concern Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, of bribing officials in 22 countries, including Russia. Daimler pleaded guilty and preferred to pay off. The Germans paid the US government 185 millions of dollars in fines. At the same time, this story had nothing to do with the United States: the company did not bribe American officials and did not violate American laws.
A special role in the dollar racket is played by New York, where most of the US banks are located, in which foreign banks open their correspondent accounts. And the New York banks, in turn, keep their accounts in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. No matter what they say, but New York remains the global financial center with which neither London, nor Tokyo, nor Frankfurt, nor Hong Kong can compare. Indeed, the lion's share of all world transactions denominated in dollars passes through it. Including those who have nothing to do with the United States. Accordingly, a special role in identifying banks and violating companies in the United States is played by the New York State Financial Services Authority, which was established in 2011. Under the direct control of this structure is about 4,5 thousands of organizations, the total value of the assets of which is 6,2 trillion dollars.
Advocate David Pitofski of Goodwin Procter, a law firm, remarks: “Even if a transaction is made, say, in Japanese yen, but at some point due to a sudden system failure, it is recalculated in dollars, this could theoretically mean that the transaction falls under American jurisdiction” (http://www.bigness.ru/articles/2012-08-20/usa/136522/). This circumstance is a powerful incentive for non-US banks and companies to substitute in international payments the US dollar for currencies of other countries, at the same time creating their regional systems of international payments. There is no doubt, for example, the need to immediately create a Eurasian integration group with the participation of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and other post-Soviet countries. International payments in this grouping could be carried out in rubles. And Moscow could claim the status of a regional financial center as an alternative to New York.