FORTUNE -- U.S. regulators have fined Royal Bank of Scotland $100 million for breaches of U.S. sanctions against Iran, Sudan, and elsewhere.
According to orders filed by the Federal Reserve and New York's banking regulators, going back as far as 2002, RBS put in place a system to transfer dollars from the U.S. in a way that hid from regulators and other banks where that money was headed.
The system, which was in place until 2011, ended up processing over 3,500 transactions, sending $523 million to Sudanese and Iranian customers. Some of the money went to individuals specifically barred by the Treasury Department from doing transactions with U.S. entities. The Treasury Department's list of barred individuals includes U.S.-designated terrorists and drug dealers.
According to New York regulators, RBS (RBS) provided written instructions to its payment processors in the United Kingdom explaining that it was "important" to strip out any information that revealed the destination "for all U.S. dollar payments to a country subject to U.S. sanctions."
Rival U.K. bank Standard Chartered paid a $340 million fine for similar violations last year. Some banks have said they believed they were following the rules when they were omitting certain information when processing payments that may have been allowed by the U.K. government but not the U.S.
As well as paying the fine, RBS has agreed to put in place new measures to make sure it doesn't break the rules again. It also "terminated" the head of its "Money Laundering Prevention Unit" for corporate markets, which seems justified. Also out is RBS's head of banking in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
RBS has been under investigation for possible violations of U.S. anti-money laundering rules for more than a year and a half. Earlier this year, the bank paid U.S. regulators $612 million for helping to rig Libor, a key international lending rate.
RBS had to be taken over by the U.K. government after the financial crisis. Over 80% of the bank is still owned by British taxpayers. There has been talk of breaking it up.
Demand for short-term loans is increasing with wider income inequality, but the market needs price competition.
By Sheila Bair
FORTUNE -- It's tough being a regulator. Regulate "too much" and confront a chorus of critics who say you are constraining the public's ability to borrow money. Regulate "too little" and you face attacks for letting irresponsible lenders make abusive loans to vulnerable borrowers.
No issue illustrates this conundrum better than the market MORENov 26, 2013 5:00 AM ET
The nominee to be the next Fed chief breezed through her Senate confirmation hearing.
FORTUNE -- As in most job interviews, Janet Yellen on Thursday didn't say anything all that controversial in her appearance before the Senate Banking Committee. Her confirmation hearings to be the next Fed chair were by-the-book and informative, but ultimately unsurprising.
Senators got a better sense of what kind of monetary leader she will be -- specifically, her MORENin-Hai Tseng, Writer - Nov 14, 2013 2:24 PM ET
Executives at big European banks thought the worst was behind them. They thought wrong.
By Cyrus Sanati
FORTUNE -- Banks in the U.S. have had a tough earnings season, but their counterparts across the pond in Europe seem to be having an even harder one. From Deutsche Bank to UBS to Rabobank, it seems that old demons and lackluster performance have hit the purse of nearly every integrated European bank.
But European MOREOct 31, 2013 5:00 AM ET
Lots of people at JPMorgan worked together to hide losses from investors and regulators. Only two of them may be going to jail.
FORTUNE -- Long live the Whale.
The most fascinating thing about the government's charge that JPMorgan Chase employees committed fraud in connection with the bank's $6 billion trading loss, and the one that will have the largest reverberations for Wall Street, is not who is being charged, but who MOREStephen Gandel, senior editor - Aug 14, 2013 3:31 PM ET
Expenses fell, but a lack of growth in consumer lending may be a sign of bigger problems at the bank, and in the economy in general.
FORTUNE -- Bank of America's second-quarter net income rose 63% to just over $4 billion, helped by a strong environment for Wall Street deals. Fees from arranging stock and bond offerings, and advising on corporate deals at BofA (BAC) jumped 36% from a year ago.
Those MOREStephen Gandel, senior editor - Jul 17, 2013 7:45 AM ET
Shares fall as profit surge not enough to calm investors' fears about client retreat, rising interest rates, and volatile earnings.
FORTUNE -- Goldman Sachs's profits in the second quarter more than doubled from a year earlier to $1.9 billion, propelled by a surge in stock and bond offerings. Trading revenues were up as well from a year ago, but down from the first quarter, perhaps showing how the recent rise in MOREStephen Gandel, senior editor - Jul 16, 2013 8:13 AM ET
The idea that the recent banking squeeze was deliberately engineered by the People's Bank to crack down on the shadow banking system makes little political sense.Jun 27, 2013 5:00 AM ET
Slowing growth of the world's second-largest economy might put it on the right path.
FORTUNE – China's cash shortage has roiled markets over the past few weeks, as investors fear a liquidity squeeze across the nation's banks could further hurt growth in the world's second-largest economy.
While that might likely happen, the credit crunch is actually a good thing for China and the rest of the world.
China's banking system is opaque, if MORENin-Hai Tseng, Writer - Jun 26, 2013 10:57 AM ET
The best way for China to tame its out-of-control shadow banking system is by ramping up its monetary printing press, not turning it off.
By Cyrus Sanati
FORTUNE -- China's over-leveraged banks may be the least of the nation's economic problems at this point. What has traders from Hong Kong to Wall Street truly worried is the state of the nation's so-called shadow banking system, where the government has little, if MOREJun 26, 2013 5:00 AM ET
|Military retirees: You betrayed us, Congress|
|I work 4 jobs and I'm still struggling|
|Instagram launches direct messaging|
|Don't fight it. Bitcoin has a bright future|
|Stocks sink as disappointing December continues|