Iran Sanctions cost Credit Agricole SA $800M

The US Treasury Department reached an agreement with Credit Agricole SA where they will pay $798 million dollars in fines for US$32B worth transactions violating US Iran Sanctions.

The company conducted business with Myuanmar and Cuba violating additional U.S. OFAC Sanctions.

United States OFAC Regulations apply to any company or legal entity that transacts business with a legal entity in the United States.  Since banking is global, this means that U.S. Sanctions though the OFAC Regulations apply to almost every bank and company worldwide, whether or not they understand or accept this.  The U.S. Treasury Department has been cataloging transactions that are with companies listed in the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) and other U.S. Treasury Lists to evaluate who is breaking U.S. Law.  In the past decade, the U.S. Treasure Department in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice has levied fines in the billions of dollars.  This bank is just another example of what happens with U.S. Law is ignored.

Federal Prosecutors accused the French Bank Crédit Agricole SA of conspiring to defaud the U.S. Government by violating economic sanctions between 2003 and 2008, according to a complaint filed with the Washington, D. C. U.S. Federal Court.  The company has a branch in New York City, and the violations came from transactions linked to that branch with the countries of Iran, Myunmar and Cuba.

In the announcement from U.S. Treasury, the violations resulted from the bank omitting information from wire transactions and otherwise masked unlawful payments on behalf of sanctioned entities between 2003 and 2008.

But in the press announcement from Credit Agricole SA, the bank stated that it is “committed to continue to strengthen its internal procedures and compliance programs regarding sanctions laws and will continue to cooperate fully with the U.S. and New York authorities regarding this matter, with its home regulators, the European Central Bank and the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution, and with the other regulators across its worldwide network.”  One would suppose that this would be appropriate after writing a check to the U.S. Treasury for almost US$800M (€724M).

Many companies continue to operate in the United States without concern about laws and regulations such as the OFAC Sanctions.  CVG Strategy’s experts are equipped to guide your company through proper implementation of control procedures and licensing as required.

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