This week, BNP Paribas reached a comprehensive settlement with US authorities related to transactions involving parties subject to US sanctions.
At BNP Paribas, we take our commitment to act as a responsible bank very seriously. We have always sought to maintain high standards of conduct that we failed to meet, in this case. We deeply regret the past misconduct that led to this settlement.
I would like to be very clear: the failures that came to light during the course of this investigation should never have happened at BNP Paribas, and run contrary to the fundamental ethical and business principles on which we seek to operate.
As CEO of BNP Paribas, I can assure you that we have learned the lessons. Individuals involved have been sanctioned or have left the Group. We have significantly strengthened our processes and controls to ensure that this does not happen again.
Under the terms of the settlement we have agreed to plead guilty, pay a fine of USD 8.97 billion, and we have accepted a temporary suspension of USD direct clearing focused mainly on the Oil & Gas Energy & Commodity Finance business in certain locations. We will maintain our licenses as part of the settlements, and we expect no impact on our operational or business capabilities to serve the vast majority of our clients. The settlement does not call into question the strength and solidity of BNP Paribas.
With this matter now resolved, the Group remains firmly focused on the future and our global business development plan. North America, our second largest market where we employ over 15,000 staff, is a strategic region for BNP Paribas. We plan to continue developing our Retail, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking franchises here over the coming years.
On behalf of BNP Paribas, I want to thank our clients, employees, shareholders and investors for their support throughout this difficult time. BNP Paribas will continue to work every single day to earn your trust and to provide the high level of service that you expect of us.
CEO – BNP Paribas