Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a "Third Intifada"?

Read more

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

  • Deadly strike hits Gaza market despite four-hour 'truce'

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • Argentina fails to reach deal with holdout creditors

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Fourth female suicide bomber targets Nigerian city

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

BNP chief seeks to trim US criminal penalties: source

AFP

A picture taken on April 14, 2012 in Paris, shows the entrance of a BNP Paribas bankA picture taken on April 14, 2012 in Paris, shows the entrance of a BNP Paribas bank

A picture taken on April 14, 2012 in Paris, shows the entrance of a BNP Paribas bankA picture taken on April 14, 2012 in Paris, shows the entrance of a BNP Paribas bank

The head of French bank BNP Paribas met with top US officials last week seeking lower penalties for violating US sanctions laws, a person familiar with the matter said Monday.

US prosectors have told BNP Paribas they want France's largest publicly traded bank to plead guilty to charges it did business with sanctioned parties in Iran, Sudan and elsewhere; pay a large fine; and fire 12 employees involved in the transactions, the person involved in the talks told AFP.

BNP chief executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafe expressed grave concerns to regulators and prosecutors about lodging a guilty plea, in part because it could endanger the bank's license for operating in the US, according to the source, who confirmed key elements of a story in The New York Times.

Bonnafe offered to plead guilty on behalf of the bank's BNP Paribas USA subsidiary, but US regulators rejected that proposal, the person added.

On Wednesday, Bonnafe met in Washington with David O'Neil, who heads the Justice Department's criminal division; Preet Bharara, the US attorney in Manhattan; and Cyrus Vance, Manhattan's district attorney.

On Thursday, Bonnafe met in New York with officials from the US Federal Reserve and New York state's top financial regulator, Benjamin Lawsky.

Lawsky has told BNP that the bank's license to operate in the US will not be threatened if the bank accepts a large financial penalty, the source said.

According to US media reports, the penalty could be as much as $2 billion.

Talks are at an advanced stage and could progress quickly if BNP Paribas accepts the demands of regulators, the source said.

The French bank last year set aside 789 million euros ($1.1 billion) to resolve the US sanctions case.

But in its first-quarter earning report in late April, BNP said "there is a possibility that the amount of the fines could be far in excess of the amount of the provision."

Date created : 2014-05-12