French President Francois Hollande and senior regulators have reached out to the United States over the prospect of BNP Paribas bank pleading guilty to violating US sanctions on black-listed countries, the New York Times reported.
Quoting what it called people familiar with the case, the paper said French officials have also contacted the State Department and the Treasury Department.
The US is seeking more than $10 billion from BNP Paribas to settle criminal charges that it violated sanctions by doing business with Iran, Sudan and Cuba, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.
French officials are concerned that as part of a guilty plea, the bank might be forced to suspend a core business operation in New York, which could erode BNP's bottom line, the Times wrote.
President Hollande has recently raised concerns about a plea deal with the White House and last month, a senior French banking regulator, Edouard Fernandez-Bollo, discussed the concerns with state and federal prosecutors in New York, the report said.
After the US officials appered to give his overtures a cold reception, Fernandez-Bollo returned last week to try again, bringing with him the governor of the Bank of France, Christian Noyer, who stressed the case could have major repercussions both for BNP and the global economy, the Times said, quoting people briefed on the matter.