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French bank to pay $1.34B for violating U.S. economic sanctions

Cuban credit facility at center of latest Societe Generale case

A Pedestrian walks past the corporate logo of Societe Generale Bank. File Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
A Pedestrian walks past the corporate logo of Societe Generale Bank. File Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

HAVANA – French bank Societe Generale agreed to pay $1.34 billion in fines and penalties related to accusations of processing about $13 billion in transactions connected to Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Libya. 

"The vast majority by value of the sanctions violations involved in the settlements related to Cuba, and stem from a single revolving credit facility extended in 2000," the bank's statement said. 

According to U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, it is the second largest penalty U.S. authorities have ever imposed on a financial institution for violating U.S. economic sanctions.

As part of the deferred prosecution agreement with U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. prosecutors will drop the charges after three years, and the bank will forfeit $717.1 million and improve its sanctions and anti-money-laundering compliance programs.

The deal will "allow the bank to close a chapter on our most important historical disputes," CEO Frederic Oudea said in the bank's statement.

The bank will also be paying $325 million to the New York State Department of Financial Services, $162.8 million to the district attorney’s office, $81.3 million to the Federal Reserve and $53.9 million to the U.S. Treasury.

 


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