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BNP Paribas may pay $3 bn to settle US case

BNP Paribas is in talks with US authorities to pay more than $3 billion to resolve investigations into whether the French bank violated American sanctions on Iran, Sudan and other countries. The investigations are being conducted by the US justice department, the US treasury department, the attorney’s office in Manhattan, the Manhattan district attorney’s office and the New York department of financial services. Prosecutors have also pushed the bank to plead guilty to criminal charges as part of a resolution. The US attorney general, Eric Holder, said his department was working closely with regulators to address potential consequences that might arise from the criminal prosecution of financial institutions, without naming specific banks. It is felt that the regulator would not revoke the bank’s licence if other stiff penalties were included in the settlement. Such penalties could include temporarily suspending dollar clearing through New York and sacking more than a dozen employees, though no final decision has been made.

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