Societe Generale comes to 11th hour €963m settlement with Libyan fund over bribery allegations

Oliver Gill
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Societe Generale Uncovers Huge Fraud
The dispute centred on five transactions made between 2007 and 2009 (Source: Getty)

Societe Generale has agreed to pay a Libyan sovereign wealth fund damages to settle bribery claims due to be heard in a London court today.

The French banking giant signed a confidential settlement to resolve a dispute with the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), both parties said in a joint statement today.

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A spokesperson for Societe Generale later told Reuters the lender paid €963m (£816m) to LIA as part of the settlement.

The dispute centred on five transactions made between 2007 and 2009. LIA claimed the trades were made as part of a "fraudulent and corrupt scheme" that included $58.5m being paid by Societe Generale to Lenaida, a company registered in Panama.

France's second largest bank said: "Societe Generale wishes to place on record its regret about the lack of caution of some of its employees.

Societe Generale apologises to the LIA and hopes that the challenges faced at this difficult time in Libya's development are soon overcome.

Read more: Goldman Sachs accused of using gifts to win Libyan business

LIA was unsuccessful in a case brought against Goldman Sachs last summer.

The Libyan fund tried to retrieve $1.2bn in relation to nine derivative trades made in 2008. It said bankers at the Wall Street giant had bribed the members of LIA with prostitutes and private jets. The lost case remains subject to appeal.

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