• 01 May 2014 at 9:45 AM
  • Banks

BNP Paribas Would Really Like To Be Too Big To Prosecute Right Now

Getting caught cozying up with the Cubans, Iranians and Libyans is going to be more expensive that BNP Paribas anticipated, what with the pending indictment and all.

The French bank BNP Paribas warned on Wednesday that it might have to pay penalties higher than the $1.1 billion it had set aside for an investigation by the American authorities into whether it processed payments for countries facing United States sanctions, including Iran….

BNP addressed the matter and the financial risks in a statement on Wednesday: “The discussions that took place during the first quarter of 2014 concerning U.S. dollar payments involving countries subject to U.S. sanctions demonstrate that a high degree of uncertainty exists as to the nature and amount of penalties that the U.S. authorities could impose on the bank following completion of the ongoing process: there is the possibility that the amount of the fines could be far in excess of the amount of the provision.”

BNP Paribas SA is facing fines of about $2 billion as well as criminal charges for violating U.S. economic sanctions against several countries including Iran, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter, part of an accelerating crackdown by American authorities that has caused upheaval among European banks….

If the government goes ahead with criminal charges against the parent of the Paris-based bank, it could lead to the first guilty plea by a bank in decades. Negotiations are continuing and a guilty plea isn’t certain, said one of the people. Any deal could fall apart.

BNP Paribas Says U.S. Penalties May Top the $1.1 Billion It Set Aside [DealBook]
BNP Paribas Facing $2 Billion in Fines Over Sanctions Violations [WSJ]
Two Giant Banks, Seen as Immune, Become Targets [DealBook]
BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse May Face U.S. Criminal Cases [WSJ]

9 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (9)

  1. Posted by cowbell | May 1, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    preet's got a fever, and the only cure is more indictments.

  2. Posted by BNP HR | May 1, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    Mondieu!!! Looks like I may not be able to take all 15 weeks of vacation this year. I must get busy sharpening my hatchet!

    VIVA LA FRANCE!!!

  3. Posted by anti-BNP quant | May 1, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    It's great that the BANK is being indicted. What about the PEOPLE who work for the bank?!?! Come on Preet!

  4. Posted by Captain Oblivious | May 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    They will be given their pound of Brie and shown the door. It is going to be bad

  5. Posted by Pepe la Pue | May 1, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    Awfully big risk taken by a firm that will usually take zero. Good luck assholes, take Jerry lewis with you on the way out

  6. Posted by The Scooper | May 1, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    This stinks of Gruyere and stale farts.

  7. Posted by Calyon | May 1, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    God bless Preet

    – Soon to be the most profitable bank in France

  8. Posted by UBS MD | May 1, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    France is the dick punch capital of Australia!

  9. Posted by Surgeon General | May 1, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Baguettes must be kept in a warm, dark place or else they may go stale.