Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CA-CIB), a corporate and investment bank owned by Crédit Agricole S.A. and headquartered in Paris, agreed to pay $787.3 million in criminal and civil penalties as part of a multiagency settlement for violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the Trading with the Enemy Act and U.S. sanctions regulations. The agencies involved in the settlement include only U.S. regulators—the DOJ, OFAC, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the New York County District Attorney’s Office and the New York State Department of Financial Services.
CA-CIB has agreed to pay $329,593,585 in connection with 4,297 apparent violations of OFAC sanctions regulations, which will be satisfied by the payments to federal and local agencies. The alleged violations stem from transactions processed by CA-CIB and certain of its predecessor banks and subsidiaries to or through U.S. financial institutions that involved persons or entities subject to OFAC sanctions pertaining to Sudan, Cuba, Burma and Iran. OFAC determined that managers at these CA-CIB entities were aware of U.S. economic sanctions programs and understood restrictions on blocking or rejecting transactions. Nonetheless, these individuals used practices that omitted references to sanctioned parties and prevented U.S. financial institutions from appropriately reviewing and analyzing the transactions for compliance with OFAC regulations.
In determining the settlement amount, OFAC considered that CA-CIB managers were aware that conduct might constitute a violation of U.S. law, CA-CIB is a large and sophisticated institution with a global presence and CA-CIB did not have controls in place to prevent apparent violations from occurring. OFAC also determined that CA-CIB did not voluntarily self-disclose the apparent violations and that the bank’s conduct was egregious, which allows for a higher base penalty. Nonetheless, the settlement was lower than the base penalty of $1,464,860,377 due to CA-CIB’s compliance with OFAC regulations in the five years preceding the allegations and due to remedial action taken by the bank in response to the apparent violations. OFAC also considered that CA-CIB cooperated extensively with the investigation and that the majority of the apparent violations occurred between 2003 and 2005, prior to publication of the benchmark ABN-Amro settlement.