Another day, another bank in trouble. It might be easy to do little more than roll your eyes at the news that Standard Chartered of the UK is caught in a scandal, except this one is very different for many reasons. To start with, the allegation is that they were the launderer in chief for the nation of Iran over a period of at least a decade, helping them hide $250B in money transfers around sanctions. This is also one of the largest banks in the world, with total assets around $600B and operations around the globe.
But where this gets especially interesting is through the still developing role of the firm Deloitte & Touche. They are one of the “Big Four” auditing firms that has been in the crosshairs of a large number of people convinced that the lack of truly independent assessment is one of the main problems in the teetering financial industry. This scandal, different as it is, could be the one that coalesces a diverse group of detractors into a movement – even though auditing had very little to do with it directly.