On Friday British-based Lloyds TSB Bank agreed to pay a 350 million dollar penalty to settle an investigation for illegally authorizing access by Iran and Sudan in to the US financial system.

This has been by far the largest penalty imposed for a violation of US sanctions.

According to a Justice Department statement, Lloyd's has accepted and acknowledged responsibility for its criminal conduct.

The statement added, Lloyds agreed to forfeit the funds as part of deferred prosecution agreements with the Department of Justice and the New York County District Attorney's Office

In the New York agreement, Lloyds admitted that from 2001 to 2004 it allowed Iranian banks and their customers to move more than $300 million by deliberately removing wire-transfer information showing that money was from sources prohibited from using the U.S. banking system.

Other material information such as customer names, bank names and addresses were removed from payment messages allowing the transfers to pass undetected through filters in the US financial system.

These transactions would have otherwise been blocked or denied due to sanctions regulations.