U.S. Prosecutors ThisClose To Telling BNP Paribas “The Price Just Went Back Up To 16 (Billion)”

For the past number of weeks, we’ve heard about how the U.S. wants BNP Paribas to plead guilty to violating U.S. sanctions against certain countries like Iran, and pay upwards of $10 billion to show they really mean it. We’ve also heard about how a lot of people in France– like its President, for one— are none too pleased about the idea of such a high fine, and are working hard (though mostly in vain) to get the number down. And while $10 billion does sound like a lot of money, a new report reveals that 1. It could’ve been a lot worse and 2. At this time, BNP might not wanna press its luck.

U.S. authorities negotiating with BNP Paribas over alleged sanctions violations at one point suggested that France’s biggest bank pay a penalty as high as $16 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

Oh, but it gets better.

While the sources said that number was only proposed as a negotiating tactic in response to an offer from BNP of about $1 billion, the dollar figures being thrown around demonstrate what bankers and their allies say is an alarming trend of ever-increasing record penalties.

$1 billion! Say what you will about BNP, but you’ve got to admire les balls on these guys. Also, you’ve got to really want to be a fly on the wall when this conversation went down:

BNP: How about…$1 billion.
U.S.: How about…$16 billion.

So, a good showing by all, but at this point in the negotiations, BNP might want to quit while it’s ahead, before the next words out of U.S. prosecutors mouths are “How about $16 billion plus another $84 billion plus you’re banned from the country for 5 years? Does that work for you?”

Exclusive: As bank fines soar, U.S. threatened $16 billion BNP penalty [Reuters]

Earlier: Barack Obama About To Pull An “I’m Going Through A Tunnel, You’re Breaking Up” To Francois Hollande’s Face

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13 Responses to “U.S. Prosecutors ThisClose To Telling BNP Paribas “The Price Just Went Back Up To 16 (Billion)””

  1. Guest says:

    To the Moon, Alice…

  2. Guest says:

    BNP: How about…$1 billion.
    U.S.: How about…$16 billion.

    This too is how I negotiate with my 10 year old when he pisses me off

  3. Guest says:

    They should also throw in a threat to expel Fabulous Fab from US too.

  4. Guest says:

    $16Bn and we go back to calling them Freedom Fries.

  5. BNP HR says:

    We are going to need more guillotines. Impending bloodbath at 787 over…..

  6. Quant me maybe... says:

    I know the comments area are a place for humor, but I have a serious question. Say they fought it and lost and wound up getting a 5 year suspension in New York (or maybe the United States) after a 10 years of appeals or whatever, how would that be a death sentence? I mean, they are a global bank and sure the US is a large market, but it's not their only market.

    >Guy who doesn't understand this part of the banking industry. But doesn't think that they could make $12Billion in profits in the US over a 5 or 7 year period. I mean they're French for God's sakes.

  7. Guest says:

    They're French. It's only a matter of time before they surrender.