BNP Paribas has negotiated terms to water down the record $8.9bn (£5.2bn) fine it is expected to be handed today for alleged sanctions violations in the US.
France’s biggest bank has won a six-month stay of execution on its suspension from clearing US dollar transactions, according to the Financial Times. That would give it until January next year to make alternative arrangements for its clients to maintain their access to US dollar financing.
US authorities are set to come down hard on the bank for breaking sanctions against Iran, Sudan and Cuba between 2002 and 2009. The bank is expected to admit the violations.
The bank’s chief, Jean-Laurent Bonnafe, wrote to staff warning them to expect heavy fines.
“I want to be clear, we will be punished severely,” he said in the internal memo.
He added: “This is good news for all staff and for our clients. It will enable us to remove the current uncertainties that are weighing on our group. We will be able to put behind us these problems.”