StanChart closed accounts linked to South Africa's Gupta family in 2014

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In a separate and unrelated development, Britain's banking regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), announced it was in contact with two United Kingdom banks, HSBC and Standard Chartered over possible links with the controversial Gupta family.

The Financial Times reported on Thursday that British financial watchdogs had been asked to investigate Standard Chartered and HSBC in connection with possible links to the widening state capture scandal surrounding the Guptas and President Jacob Zuma.

"Will the Chancellor ensure the Financial Conduct Authority, the Serious Fraud Office and the National Crime Agency investigate HSBC, Standard Chartered and Baroda Banks, which expert South African whistle-blowers believe must have been conduits for the corrupt proceeds of money stolen from their taxpayers and laundered through Dubai and Hong Kong?"

The FT reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been probing the issue for some time, and will continue to investigate companies and individuals tied to the family, and allegations of corruption.

The Guptas and Zuma have denied any wrongdoing.

South African banks like Standard Bank and Nedbank terminated all their business with Gupta-owned companies in April 2016.

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The Gupta family has caused controversy over the past year as details of their alleged influence on government officials began to emerge when thousands of the family's emails were leaked to the media.

The Guptas reportedly sought to employ their nephews in South Africa in 2013 and Tax records in Texas name Ashish and Amol Gupta as directors of Brookfield Consultants Inc, a Houston-based company.

An FCA spokesperson told The National that the regulator is already in contact with both banks and "will consider carefully further responses received".

Lord Hain, a former Northern Ireland secretary, alleged in his letter to the chancellor that the issue was "a result of the corruption and cronyism presided over by President Zuma and close allies the Guptas".

He said it has been estimated that around £400m could have been laundered through financial institutions in South Africa. However, he suggests that transactions and evidence from whistleblowers are reviewed in light of allegations that hundreds of millions of South African rand were laundered out of the country.