French bank will pay $787M to settle US sanctions violations
Oct. 20, 2015
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A large French bank has agreed to pay more than $787 million to settle legal problems stemming from U.S. sanctions violations, officials announced Tuesday.
Credit Agricole processed more than $32 billion in payments through its New York branch between 2003 and 2008 on behalf of Sudanese, Iranian, Burmese and Cuban entities, according to New York Financial regulators. The dollar clearing was done through its New York branch from its branches in Paris, London, Singapore, Geneva, Hong Kong and the Gulf, they said.
Under the settlement signed last week, Credit Agricole will terminate a managing director and install an independent monitor.
Credit Agricole confirmed the settlement, saying the penalty payment will come from an existing reserve and won't affect accounts for the second half of this year. The bank, based in Paris, operates in more than 30 countries and has about 7,000 employees worldwide.
The settlement includes $385 million to New York's Department of Financial Services, $90 million to the Federal Reserve, $156 million to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and $156 million to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.
"Credit Agricole engaged in a series of schemes to evade U.S. sanctions and deceive its regulators," department Superintendent Anthony Albanese said. It hid identities in the transactions, he said.
The Manhattan District Attorney's Office said it entered into a separate deferred prosecution agreement with the bank in which it admits it violated New York law by falsifying records.
The bank said it also entered a three-year deferred prosecution with federal U.S. authorities, where they will take no further action if it complies with its agreement obligations.
"Credit Agricole is committed to continue to strengthen its internal procedures and compliance programs regarding sanctions laws," it said.