Sunday, October 25, 2015

French Bank Fined for Processing Cuban Transactions
U.S. government levies fines on French bank Crédit Agricole for over a billion dollars

Redacción Internacional |
October 21, 2015 09:10:26

The artistic gala combined music, dance and theater. Photo: AFP
PARIS.— The French bank Crédit Agricole agreed yesterday, October 21, to pay fines of over a billion dollars to U.S. authorities, as a result of alleged violations of this country’s sanctions on Sudan, Iran, Myanmar and Cuba.

The total amounts to 1.116 billion dollars, including 329 million to be paid to the Treasury Department; 90 million to the Federal Reserve; 385 million to the New York state Department of Financial Services; 156 million each to the Manhattan and District of Colombia attorney’s offices.

The agreement announced absolves the bank of “possible civil responsibility” in acts being investigated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

The majority of the “suspicious” transactions were processed, between 2003 and 2008, by a U.S. subsidiary of Crédit Agricole, involving an estimated 32 billion dollars.

Crédit Agricole is the second French bank to pay fines to the U.S. for violating blockade regulations, which remain in full force. BNP Paribas, agreed to a fine last year of almost nine billion dollars for similar infractions. Also sanctioned were Credit Suisse and the German Commerzbank.

This is however the first such case of these dimensions since the reestablishment of relations between Cuba and the United States, this past July.

President Obama has announced changes to modify aspects of the blockade’s implementation, but Cuban authorities have noted that the impact has been minimal thus far. Congressional action is required to put a definitive end to the hostile policy.

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