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SocGen expects to pay 1.1b euros in fines
Published on: Wednesday, September 05, 2018

PARIS: French banking giant Societe Generale said Tuesday it expects to pay 1.1 billion euros ($1.27 billion) in fines to settle a dispute with US authorities over allegations that it violated sanctions, particularly in Iran.

In a statement, France's second-biggest bank said it expects to be able to cover the cost with provisions set aside for the dispute. "Societe Generale has entered into a phase of more active discussions with these US authorities with a view to reaching a resolution of this matter within the coming weeks," it said.

"Within the provision for disputes amounting to 1.43 billion euros, approximately 1.1 billion euros equivalent is allocated to the US sanctions matter," it added.

Societe Generale has been caught up in around a dozen probes and lawsuits in recent months.

In June the US Justice Department announced the bank would pay the authorities there and in France $1.34 billion to settle allegations that it bribed officials in Libya and also manipulated the Libor interest rate benchmark. The Libya allegations had already seen Societe Generale pay nearly a billion euros in penalties in 2017.

Following the trouble, Societe Generale's deputy CEO Didier Valet quit in March, reportedly because of the way the disputes were handled.

The bank's head of retail banking had also quit at the time, rattling investors and hitting first quarter profits. In the second quarter, however, the bank saw profits buoyed by growth abroad. – AFP

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