Promontory Financial Group agreed to pay a US $15 million fine in order to resolve certain allegations made against it by the New York State Department of Financial Services. Just two weeks ago, the NYSDFS issued a report stating that Promontory “exhibited a lack of independent judgment” in connection with a review of the compliance by Standard Chartered Bank, one of its clients, with anti-money laundering requirements on which the NYSDFS relied. The NYSDFS also claimed that certain testimony by Promontory witnesses during the course of the department’s investigation into the firm’s conduct “lacked credibility.” When it issued its report, the NYSDFS said it would deny all requests to provide the firm with confidential supervisory information “until further notice.” In settling this matter, Promontory acknowledged that “[i]n certain instances” its review of Standard Chartered “did not meet the Department’s current requirements for consultants performing regulatory compliance work for entities supervised by the Department.” Promontory agreed that, going forward “any report it submits to the Department must be objective and reflect its best independent judgment.” To settle this matter – which never took the form of a complaint or a formal administrative action of any kind— Promontory also agreed not to take on any new consulting arrangements for six months that requires it to obtain confidential information under New York law. (Click here for further background on the charges against Promontory in the article “New York Regulator Penalizes Promontory Financial for Alleged Lack of Independent Judgment in Handling Standard Chartered Bank Review” in the August 14, 2015 edition of Bridging the Week.)