Credit Agricole may face $650m penalty over Iran

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Credit Agricole will probably reach an accord with U.S. officials in the next two months to settle a probe of the bank’s business in sanctioned countries including Iran, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Bloomberg News reports that a resolution is expected to follow a settlement with Commerzbank AG, which is in discussions with U.S. authorities to pay about $650 million for breaking trade embargoes, the person said. Credit Agricole’s fine could be similar to Commerzbank’s, according to the person. Anne-Sophie Gentil, a spokeswoman for Credit Agricole, declined to comment.

Foreign banks have become increasingly eager to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors after a heavy fine was levied against BNP Paribas in June. Despite requests for leniency from the highest levels of French government, BNP had to pay about $9 billion and accept restrictions on certain activities. Prosecutors linked the tough terms to BNP’s lack of cooperation.

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