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StanChart loses bid to cut US sanctions breach claims from UK lawsuit

FILE PHOTO: The Standard Chartered bank logo is seen at their headquarters in London

(Reuters) -Standard Chartered on Monday lost a bid to cut from a London lawsuit allegations that it broke U.S. sanctions against Iran in a more widespread way than it has previously admitted.

More than 200 investors are suing Standard Chartered at London's High Court for allegedly untrue statements about its sanctions non-compliance between 2007 and 2019.

The lawsuit comes after the London-based bank agreed to pay $1.1 billion in 2019 to U.S. and British authorities over transactions which breached sanctions against Iran and other countries.

The 2019 deal extended by two years a 2012 deferred prosecution agreement with Standard Chartered, under which the bank paid U.S. authorities $667 million.

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The investors, however, allege "industrial-scale sanctions non-compliance" by Standard Chartered beyond what the bank admitted to regulators.

Standard Chartered, which strongly rejects the allegations, tried to have the allegations of sanctions non-compliance which were not covered by admissions to regulators thrown out.

Last year, the High Court ruled the allegations should go to trial, likely to be heard in late 2026, and Standard Chartered's appeal against that decision was dismissed on Monday.

A Standard Chartered spokesperson said in a statement the decision "is not a ruling on the merits of the allegations themselves, which SC PLC continues to regard as baseless".

"We will continue to vigorously defend the claim and are confident that the High Court will conclude that the bank fully complied with its reporting and disclosure obligations throughout the relevant period," the spokesperson added.

(Reporting by Sam Tobin, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)