Credit Agricole ‘to pay $800 mln in Iran, Sudan, Cuba sanctions case’

Credit Agricole said in August that it had set aside $350 million in provisions over the alleged sanctions violations

French bank Credit Agricole has agreed to pay $800 million to settle charges it flouted U.S. sanctions in Iran and other countries, a person familiar with the matter said Monday.

The settlement, part of a long-running U.S. investigation of European banks for illicit dollar transactions with nations under U.S. sanctions, will be announced this week, possibly as soon as Tuesday, the person said.

Credit Agricole is paying the fine as part of a so-called deferred prosecution agreement that does not require the bank to plead guilty so long as it fulfills certain requirements.

The U.S. authorities accuse Credit Agricole of transferring billions of dollars to accounts held by entities under U.S. sanctions such as Iran, Sudan and Cuba between 2003 and 2008.

Some of the bankers responsible for the wrongdoing have already been dismissed, while one employee is still with the French bank and is expected to be dismissed, the person said.

Besides Justice, the agencies involved in the settlement are the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the New York Department of Financial Services.

Credit Agricole said in August that it had set aside $350 million in provisions because it was at an “advanced stage” in discussions over the alleged sanctions violations and it expected to reach a global settlement in autumn 2015.

Rival French bank BNP Paribas was ordered to pay a record $8.9 billion fine earlier this year for similar alleged violations.

Credit Agricole’s board has agreed to the key terms of the deal, which allows it to avoid criminal proceedings, according to Bloomberg News, which quoted two people familiar with the case.

Other European banks including Deutsche Bank, Societe Generale and UniCredit have already said they are cooperating with U.S. investigations into alleged sanctions violations, the agency said.

Those matters were expected to be settled in 2016 at the latest, Bloomberg said.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:12 - GMT 11:12