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Standard Chartered has defended itself against accusations of handling terrorist funds filed by two whistleblowers, in a continuation of long-running allegations.

Papers filed in the Court for the Southern District of New York by Julian Knight, a former executive with the bank, allege that it handled finances for Iran-linked organisations and groups designated as terrorist entities in both the US and the UK between 2008 and 2013.

The whistleblowers had filed a claim including the same allegations back in 2018, but this was dismissed by US authorities. Filings were made again last week on 31 May as the whistleblowers attempt to restart legal efforts.

Alleged groups which had funds handled by Standard Chartered include Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The court filings claim 500,000 documented unique transactions including 20,000 foreign currency transactions during the five year period.

“This filing is another attempt to use fabricated claims against the bank, following previous unsuccessful attempts,” Standard Chartered’s statement, issued in response to media reports on the matter, read.

“The false allegations underpinning it have been thoroughly discredited by the US authorities who undertook a comprehensive investigation into the claims and said they were ‘meritless’ and did not show any violations of US sanctions. We are confident the courts will reject these claims, as they have already done repeatedly.”

Standard Chartered ended its long-standing ties to the Iranian banking system in 2007 during a time of rising tensions between the Middle Eastern nation and the US. 

Last week’s court filings claim that this relationship has continued, however. It is notable that Standard Chartered has previously admitted breaching Western sanctions against Iran, but steadfastly denies ever handling finances for terrorist groups.

A previous attempt at legal proceedings against Standard Chartered  in 2012 were also shut down after intervention by then Prime Minister David Cameron and his Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, as outlined by the BBC.