Arab Today, arab today bnp chief seeks to trim us criminal penalties
Last Updated : GMT 14:02:48
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

BNP chief seeks to trim US criminal penalties

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today BNP chief seeks to trim US criminal penalties

New York - AFP

The head of French bank BNP Paribas met with top US officials lastweek seeking lower penalties for violating US sanctions laws, a person familiar withthe matter said Monday.US prosectors have told BNP Paribas they want France's largest publicly traded bankto plead guilty to charges it did business with sanctioned parties in Iran, Sudan andelsewhere; pay a large fine; and fire 12 employees involved in the transactions, theperson involved in the talks told AFP.BNP chief executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafe expressed grave concerns to regulatorsand prosecutors about lodging a guilty plea, in part because it could endanger thebank's license for operating in the US, according to the source, who confirmed keyelements of a story in The New York Times.Bonnafe offered to plead guilty on behalf of the bank's BNP Paribas USA subsidiary,but US regulators rejected that proposal, the person added.On Wednesday, Bonnafe met in Washington with David O'Neil, who heads the JusticeDepartment's criminal division; Preet Bharara, the US attorney in Manhattan; andCyrus Vance, Manhattan's district attorney.On Thursday, Bonnafe met in New York with officials from the US Federal Reserveand New York state's top financial regulator, Benjamin Lawsky.Lawsky has told BNP that the bank's license to operate in the US will not bethreatened if the bank accepts a large financial penalty, the source said.According to US media reports, the penalty could be as much as $2 billion. Talks are at an advanced stage and could progress quickly if BNP Paribas acceptsthe demands of regulators, the source said.The French bank last year set aside 789 million euros ($1.1 billion) to resolve the USsanctions case. But in its first-quarter earning report in late April, BNP said "there is a possibilitythat the amount of the fines could be far in excess of the amount of the provision.

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