$8.9 billion U.S. Sanctions Fine Still Felt by French Bank

By Catherine Kent

Chairman Baudouin Prot of Paris-based French bank, BNP Paribas, is now the second bank officer to step down after BNP Paribas spent 10 years (from 2002 to 2012) funneling money to nefarious regimes in Sudan, Iran, and Cuba, in violation of U.S. sanctions for which BNP Paribas paid the record-breaking fine of $8.9 billion this summer.. Mr. Prot, who had worked for BNP Paribas  for 30 years, had just been renewed as Chairman this year, and was not due to run again until 2017.

As the bank plead guilty to two criminal charges, it will also face a one year ban on its dollar-clearing business. Meanwhile, as top officers are stepping down and taking blame for this violation, industry sources are speculating that the bank might take this opportunity to find a new, fresh-minded leadership group for BNP Paribas – and hopefully one that will avoid violating U.S. sanctions in the future.