HSBC, Standard Chartered may face United Kingdom inquiry over South Africa's Gupta family

South African President Jacob Zuma arrives to give his State Of The Nation address at the opening session of parliament in Cape Town

Standard Chartered said: "We are not able to comment on the details of client transactions, but can confirm that following an internal investigation accounts were closed by us in 2014".

At the center of the allegations are South Africa's President Jacob Zuma and a wealthy business family, the Guptas.

It has emerged the HSBC and Standard Chartered banks may have "inadvertently been conduits for laundered money" between the Gupta family and South Africa's president.

A spokeswoman for the FCA said it was already in contact with the banks named by Lord Hain and would "consider carefully further responses received".

South African police and prosecutors have said they are investigating allegations of corruption, including potential kickbacks from worldwide companies, which were brought to light by a flood of emails and other documents that appear to have been obtained from Gupta-controlled companies.

Spokesmen for HSBC and Standard Chartered declined to comment.

It's being reported that the FBI is investigating cash flows between South African Gupta-owned companies, Dubai and a company owned by Ashish and Amol in the United States. The FBI is investigating payments made by a Gupta-linked UAE front to the nephews' US-based company Brookfield.

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Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta are Indian-born entrepreneurs at the centre of a corruption investigation in South Africa.

"The Guptas sought to employ their nephews in South Africa in 2013, the emails show".

The Chancellor has asked the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and National Crime Agency (NCA) to look into the possibility that banks including HSBC and Standard Chartered were used as part of an alleged money laundering scheme, after concerns were raised to him by former Labour cabinet minister Lord Peter Hain.

Treasury minister Lord Bates said the United Kingdom was committed to tackling corruption in the United Kingdom and overseas with strict rules on money laundering introduced recently which British banks must follow.

Both the Guptas and Zuma deny allegations of corruption and that their relationship gave the Gupta family an unfair level of influence over politics.

"We are taking this very seriously because we realise the consequences of not doing so for the reputation of the City of London and the UK", said the UK Minister of State for the Department for International Development, Lord Bates.

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