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BARCLAYS will pay $US298 million to settle charges that it cooked its books to hide vast amounts of money from US-sanctioned countries.
The UK bank admitted altering its books for more than 10 years to hide hundreds of millions of dollars from countries such as Cuba, Libya and Iran.
The $331m settlement-agreement of criminal charges is an embarrassment for Barclays, which became a major player on Wall Street by snapping up the collapsed US operations of Lehman Brothers in 2008 and has been trying to burnish the UK bank's reputation on both sides of the Atlantic as a good corporate citizen.
The judge's comments are the latest example of what some legal experts call a pattern of increasing displeasure from the bench about how the U.S. government is resolving investigations of major financial institutions.
Barclays has been recognised all over the world for its achievements: from innovative products and exemplary people to charity work and sustainability initiatives.