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Credit Agricole fined $787 mln for Sudan transactions

October 20 - 2015 WASHINGTON

The French bank Credit Agricole ACA, must pay $787.3 million to US federal and state regulators, to settle charges that it illegally processed more than $32 billion in transactions with Sudan and other countries subject to US sanctions.

The transactions occurred between 2003 and 2008. The bank agreed with client requests to hide identities on transactions going through New York. One of the clients called the crisis in Darfur “an exaggeration in the media”, the New York Department of Financial Services said.

The payment is to be made under what is termed a deferred prosecution agreement with the bank, another source said. Under such agreements the accused party is subjected to tighter supervision for several years. If it does not abide by the terms of the deal, criminal charges could be filed. The network of banks also will have to dismiss an unnamed managing director.

Credit Agricole fell 0.99 percent on the Stoxx Europe 600 banking stock market after the news on the fine broke on Tuesday.

Credit Agricole is the latest foreign bank to settle charges of violating US sanctions. BNP Paribas, France’s largest bank, last year paid a record-breaking $8.9 billion in penalties and pleaded guilty to criminal charges over sanctions-busting. It was also banned from conducting certain US dollar transactions for a year.

“An amount of close to 700 million is rather the low end of the range expected by the market of up to 1 billion,” a Paris-based share market trader said to Reuters commenting the expected settlement. According to the same source, Italy’s UniCredit SpA, France’s Societe Generale, and Germany’s Deutsche Bank AG remain under investigation by US authorities.

(Sources: MarketWatch, Reuters)

Related articles:

USA scrutinises German banks over dealing with Sudan (9 July 2014)

‘Suspension Arab bank dealings heavy blow to Sudan’: experts (2 March 2014)

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