BNP Paribas won a reprieve during final talks to settle a criminal probe into U.S. sanctions violations, giving the bank six months to prepare for a ban on handling certain dollar transactions, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
Bloomberg News reports that authorities in the U.S. rebuffed a last-ditch push by the bank to slash an $8.9bn penalty, two other people said, asking not to be identified because talks are private. The yearlong ban on dollar clearing could affect specific business lines, such as oil and gas transactions, and certain offices, such as Geneva, where the alleged illegal transactions took place, a person familiar with the terms said last week.
BNP Paribas is poised to plead guilty today in Manhattan federal court, ending years of investigation by accepting a record penalty for violating U.S. sanctions against rogue nations, people familiar with the case have said. The talks with state and federal authorities in the U.S. had drawn warnings from French officials against levying disproportionate fines that could harm their nation’s economy and Europe’s banking system.
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