Financial Regulatory Forum

BNP’s ‘huge’ role in undermining U.S. Sudan sanctions behind looming tough penalty, sources say

By Brett Wolf, Compliance Complete ST. LOUIS, June 18 – The pivotal role BNP Paribas played in helping Sudan sell oil in violation of U.S. sanctions is the major reason U.S. authorities are pushing for harsh penalties against the French banking giant, two sources with firsthand knowledge of the matter said.”BNP basically was the Sudanese economy. They were just huge in helping the government of Sudan evade U.S. sanctions,” one of the sources said.BNP’s role involved removing references to Sudanese parties from wire-transfer messages, so U.S. dollar oil payments could clear through New York and move into accounts controlled by Khartoum, the sources said. The sources declined to name the buyers of the Sudanese oil or to say what Khartoum did with the revenue.

The dollar is the primary currency for the global oil trade.

The prohibited transactions ran into the “many billions of dollars,” and their “sheer volume” weakened the U.S. sanctions from 2002 and “well beyond 2009,” the other source said. He added that the sums involved and the damage to sanctions “factored into the mix” as authorities calculated the approximate size of the penalty that would be demanded from the bank.

When asked whether U.S. authorities plan to pursue criminal charges against any current or former BNP executives, one of the sources said such decisions will not be made until after the case against the bank has been resolved. “That’s something that is being looked at closely,” the source said.

Both sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.

U.S. prosecutors have been pushing the bank to plead guilty to unspecified criminal charges as part of a resolution that is expected to include a multi-billion dollar penalty, sources have said. Neither source cited above was willing to say precisely how much U.S. authorities have sought during the continuing negotiations. Reuters has reported a figure of $10 billion.

FACTBOX – Britain makes arrests in insider dealing probe

LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) – A raid on top banks and a hedge fund on Tuesday as part of an insider dealing investigation sent shockwaves through London’s financial centre, as British authorities try to establish their crime-fighting credentials.

It was the fifth set of arrests carried out by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) into insider dealing in the past two years. Here are key facts and recent events:

(more…)

Dutch government, Deutsche Bank in ABN AMRO deal

By Ben Berkowitz and Edward Taylor
AMSTERDAM/FRANKFURT, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank AG agreed in principle to buy some ABN AMRO assets from the Dutch state in a deal which should clear the way for a merger of nationalised banks ABN and Fortis Bank Nederland.

(more…)

Japan regulator investigates BNP Paribas – newspaper

BNPPARIBAS-FORTIS/    TOKYO, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Japan’s securities regulator is probing allegations of market manipulation in share trading by BNP Paribas <BNPP.PA>, the Asahi newspaper reported, in what would be another regulatory issue for the French bank following a controversial deal last year with a failed property developer. (more…)

Dutch finance ministry talks with Deutsche about ABN remedy

AMSTERDAM, Oct 5 (Reuters) – The Dutch Finance Ministry and Deutsche Bank are still in talks to meet an EU competition remedy that would allow a merger between state-owned ABN AMRO and Fortis Bank Nederland, the ministry said on Monday.
(more…)

  •