Mike Shedlock

Today, French bank BNP Paribas plead guilty Monday to criminal money-laundering laws by helping clients dodge sanctions on Iran, Sudan and other countries.

As part of the settlement, BNP will pay a record penalty of close to $9 billion.

Former ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet said the fine was neither fair, just, nor proportionate and carries risks for the global financial system.

CCN Money has the synopsis in BNP Paribas to Pay Nearly $9 Billion Penalty.

On Monday in an agreement with the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance the bank pleaded guilty to falsifying business records and conspiracy in Manhattan Supreme Court. On Tuesday it is expected to plead guilty for violating money laundering laws in federal court with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

The bank also agreed to a sanction by the New York department of financial services. It will suspend certain U.S. dollar clearing transaction services through its New York branch for one year.

About 30 employees will leave BNP Paribas as a result of the investigation, including several who have gone already, according to the U.S. official.

The fine dwarfs HSBC (HSBC)'s $1.9 billion penalty in 2012 for similar offenses, and the $2.6 billion Credit Suisse (CS) paid in May to settle tax evasion claims.

The Wall Street Journal said BNP Paribas would have to slash its dividend and raise billions of euros by issuing bonds.

Standard and Poor's has warned it could cut the bank's long term credit rating once it reviewed the size of the fine and the nature of any additional penalties.

Mike Shedlock

Mike Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for Sitka Pacific Capital Management.
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