Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

WEB NEWS

NSA targets 'Tor' network users

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users call for peace in Gaza

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French government hopes to collect €1.8bn from foreign accounts

Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • Thousands gather in Marseille in support of Israel

    Read more

  • As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

    Read more

  • Liberia tightens border controls to curb Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • The centenary of Austria-Hungary’s calamitous last hurrah

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for immediate Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • Nibali joins elite group with Tour de France win

    Read more

  • France calls on its nationals to leave Libya as violence escalates

    Read more

  • Boko Haram kidnap Cameroon minister's wife in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Muslims prepare for Eid al-Fitr festival

    Read more

  • ‘Irresponsible’ American dad tries to scale Mont Blanc with children

    Read more

  • Ukraine fighting prevents observers from accessing MH17 crash site

    Read more

  • In pictures: Crowds flock to enjoy the Tour de France show

    Read more

  • Netanyahu says Hamas 'violating its own ceasefire'

    Read more

  • Video: At the scene of the Air Algérie crash in Mali

    Read more

  • Costa Concordia arrives in port of Genoa to be scrapped

    Read more

  • In pictures: Youths clash with police at banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Russia lashes out at new EU sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Bodies of all Air Algérie crash victims to be brought to France

    Read more

  • Syrian army and ISIS both claim advances

    Read more

  • Briton kidnapped in Yemen freed after five months

    Read more

  • New round of Gaza ceasefire talks takes place in Paris

    Read more

France

France warns BNP fine could affect US-EU trade deal

© Afp

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-06-05

France on Thursday warned that a possible multi-billion US fine on its largest bank, BNP Paribas, for allegedly evading US sanctions on transactions with Sudan, Iran and Syria could affect ongoing EU-US trade talks.

“We must all completely respect the independence of the justice system. But we are also partners with a relationship of trust, and that trust must not be broken,” Finance Minister Michel Sapin told Le Monde daily paper in an interview.

“This could affect the ongoing talks on the free-trade treaty,” he said.

Sapin also said that the members of BNP's staff involved in the transactions at the centre of the US probe had been fired.

US authorities are investigating whether BNP evaded US sanctions on Sudan, Iran and Syria between 2002 and 2009, alleging that the bank stripped identifying information from wire transfers so they could pass through the US financial system without raising red flags.

Sources familiar with the matter have said the potential fine could be approximately $10 billion.

France has called the mooted fine "unreasonable".

French President François Hollande and US President Barack Obama are expected to discuss the BNP fine at a dinner Thursday night while Obama is on a visit to France for commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Hollande wrote to Obama in April to stating that the possible fine for France’s biggest bank would be “disproportionate”. The French president emphasised the need for a “reasonable” approach by the US justice system in close cooperation with the financial regulatory authorities, an official in Hollande’s office said.

Sapin earlier called the fine “inequitable” in a France 2 TV interview on Wednesday.

Sapin told the TV channel it was neither “possible nor acceptable for us to intervene in the justice proceedings”, but criticised what he, too, described as a "disproportionate" fine.

“Whether it’s a French bank or a European bank, we don’t want American justice conducted in an inequitable way. The amount we’ve seen in the press, from our point of view, is inequitable,” he said.

“Every time a fine of this nature is imposed, if it’s disproportionate to the facts, for whatever bank it is, it has consequences for the bank and for its capacity to lend.”

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, whose portfolio includes trade issues, on Tuesday also warned that the fine could jeopardise ongoing transatlantic free-trade talks.

BNP has said publicly only that it is in discussions with US authorities about “certain US dollar payments involving countries, persons and entities that could have been subject to economic sanctions”.

The bank has set aside $1.1 billion for the fine but told shareholders it could be far higher than that. Last month it also said it had improved control processes to ensure such mistakes did not occur again.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP)

 

Date created : 2014-06-05

  • FRANCE

    Hollande to discuss 'disproportionate' BNP fine with Obama

    Read more

  • TRADE

    French fear of US trade deal 'reactionary', Barroso says

    Read more

  • US - EU

    US-EU free trade talks begin amid spying accusations

    Read more

COMMENT(S)