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French banking giant to pay record $8.9 billion fine

July 1, 2014

BNP Paribas has agreed to pay a $8.9 billion settlement for U.S. sanctions violations.

France's largest bank BNP Paribas agreed Monday to a record $8.9 billion settlement with U.S. authorities over sanctions violations.

The financial giant admitted charges relating to currency trading for clients in Sudan, Cuba and Iran – all countries blacklisted by the U.S.

The settlement comes after months of protracted negotiations with prosecutors. The Justice Department had accused BNP of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act by attempting to conceal $30 billion of client transactions in sanctioned countries between 2002 and 2012.

The bank hid the names of Sudanese and Iranian clients when sending transactions through its New York branches and the broader American financial system.

"The settlement is the U.S. Department of the Treasury'sOffice of Foreign Assets Control's largest-ever and reaffirms OFAC's determination to aggressively enforce U.S. sanctions rules and regulations," OFAC Director Adam J Szubin said.

"The agreement is the result of an interagency effort to investigate institutions that abuse the U.S. financial system and undermine U.S. sanctions programs."

Under the agreement, BNP must introduce measures to guard against sanction violations in the future.

Biggest fines to European banks by U.S. authorities:

Bank name




BNP Paribas


$8.9 billion

Violating US sanctions

Credit Suisse




$2.6 billion

Tax evasion


United Kingdom 

$1.9 billion

Money laundering





$1.2 billion

Libor manipulation 

Source: US Securities & Exchange Commission


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Source: Anadolu Agency (Turkey)

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