France-based Societe Generale has reached agreements with concerned US authorities to pay penalties totaling about $1.3bn to settle certain pending legal disputes in the country.
By paying the amount, Societe Generale will be resolving investigations pertaining to certain US dollar deals carried out by the bank involving countries, individuals, or firms that are the subject of US economic sanctions and implicating New York State laws.
The French banking giant has reached settlement agreements with the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (OFAC), Federal Reserve and the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) in this regard. The agreements will resolve the charges faced by the French bank of violating laws governing the US economic sanctions and anti-money-laundering (AML).
DFS Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo said: “The absence of an effective, global sanctions-compliance infrastructure and lack of management oversight allowed Société Générale employees to ignore the scope and applicability of laws governing economic sanctions, as well as New York anti-money laundering and recordkeeping laws.
“With these consent orders, DFS is holding Société Générale accountable for complying with U.S. and New York anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering laws and ensuring its vigilance against illicit activity.”
According to Societe Generale, a major portion of the penalty will be used for settling sanctions violations related to Cuba, which had emerged from a single revolving credit facility extended some 18 years ago.
The remaining deals taken up by the bank involved countries such as Iran among others that are the target of US economic sanctions.
Societe Generale has agreed to pay $717.2m to the US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York (SDNY), $325m to DFS, $162.8m to New York County District Attorney’s Office (DANY), $81.3m to the Federal Reserve and $53.9m to OFAC.
Societe Generale CEO Frédéric Oudéa said: “We acknowledge and regret the shortcomings that were identified in these settlements, and have cooperated with the U.S. Authorities to resolve these matters.
“Société Générale has already taken a number of significant steps in recent years and dedicated substantial resources to enhance its sanctions and AML compliance programs. More broadly, these resolutions, following on the heels of the resolution of other investigations earlier this year, allow the Bank to close a chapter on our most important historical disputes.”