Lloyds TSB Bank has agreed to pay a fine of $350m, after it said 'yes' to deliberately breaking sanctions for wealthy investors from Middle Eastern pariah states such as Iran and Sudan.
From 1995 until it was caught red-handed by US officials in 2007, the British-based bank falsified outgoing US wire transfers, stripping out incriminating customer and bank details to evade detection by American institutions.
"For more than twelve years, Lloyds facilitated the anonymous movement of hundreds of millions of dollars from US-sanctioned nations through our financial system," said acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Department of Justice. "Such conduct has the potential to finance terrorist activities."
Senior criminals from Lloyds TSB issued a statement expressing its gratitude to the US agencies for recognising that the bank "provided prompt and substantial cooperation throughout the investigation" once it realised the jig was up, and for sparing its directors from a century or two as guests of the American penal system.
"That just leaves the small matter of the $350m fine," they added. "Not to worry - we'll get British taxpayers to stump up for it soon enough, courtesy of Gordon Brown."