French bank Credit Agricole has agreed to pay 800 …
French bank Credit Agricole has agreed to pay $ 800 million to the US authorities to close regulators investigating violations of embargoes against Iran and Sudan, said on Monday AFP a source close to the matter.
This agreement could be announced as early as Tuesday or this week, said on condition of anonymity that source, adding that the two sides reached agreement on all points of the compromise.
The authorities concerned are the Department of Justice (DoJ), the regulator of financial services in New York (DFS), the Federal Reserve (Fed) and the Treasury Department.
Contacted by AFP, the DFS has declined to comment. Crédit Agricole did not respond immediately to requests from AFP.
The agreement should be a “deferred prosecution agreement”, that is to say, an arrangement whereby the bank recognizes elements and undertakes not to commit similar offenses. It should promise to strengthen in this context its control procedures. In exchange, the authorities should waive the criminal prosecution.
The mutual bank should escape as well, according to the source, to “plead guilty” and does not have to require specific exemptions to continue to perform certain activities, such as managing assets for pension funds.
Several bankers involved in the disputed transactions have left the bank, only one is still in place and should start shortly, according to the same source.
US authorities accuse of Crédit Agricole have transferred billions of dollars on behalf of entities subject to US sanctions taking advantage of a legal loophole in the US.
The survey focused on countries like Sudan, Cuba and Iran and on actions which have been carried out between 2003 and 2008, sources said.
In late September, US sources had told AFP that London antennas, Paris, Singapore and Geneva Crédit Agricole CIB, the corporate banking and investment group, were involved.
In 2014, BNP Paribas had she had to pay a fine of nearly nine billion and pleaded guilty to settle its dispute over US economic embargoes.
However, the magnitude of the charges against Crédit Agricole, which cooperated from the start, according to another source close to the case, was deemed less important than what was alleged against her compatriot.
Another French bank, Société Générale, is also suspected of embargo violations by the United States and negotiations are continuing, said Monday AFP a source close to the discussions.
SocGen has set aside 1.3 billion euros at end-June for possible fines related scandals in which it is involved.