Infotech

American justice lifts all sanctions against Societe Generale



Posted on Dec 3, 2019 2021 at 8:57Updated Dec 3, 2019 2021 at 14:57

It is a real cause of relief for Societe Generale. The United States has definitively closed the various legal files concerning the French bank, which had cost it some 2.6 billion dollars three years ago. No further prosecution can be carried out in the framework of the case of violations of embargoes and money laundering, nor in that of the case of suspicion of corruption with the Libyan sovereign wealth fund and the manipulation of interbank rates.

For these two cases, transactional agreements had been concluded with the United States Department of Justice (DoJ). They were accompanied by a three-year probationary period during which the French bank had to commit to respecting the terms of the agreement. This period having expired, American justice withdrew the sword of Damocles which still hung over Societe Generale, even if the group was rather confident on the positive outcome of these files.

“By asking the courts to drop these legal proceedings, the DoJ acknowledged that Societe Generale had fulfilled its obligations under the stay of prosecution agreements [« DPA » ou « deferred prosecution agreements »] “The bank said on Friday.

The first case concerned prosecutions relating to transactions in US dollars carried out between 2003 and 2013 in countries subject to US economic sanctions, mainly Cuba, but also Iran. An agreement was reached in November 2018 to settle the disputes, resulting in a bill of $ 1.3 billion for the French bank, the second largest fine imposed by Washington for violation of sanctions, after the 9 billion dollars. dollars inflicted on BNP Paribas in 2014.

Strengthening of compliance procedures

During this same year 2018, in June, Societe Generale had concluded other agreements with the American justice, but also French (in this case the national financial prosecutor’s office), within the framework of the case of the suspicions of corruption with the fund Libyan sovereign and the manipulation of interbank rates. The bill was equivalent: $ 1.3 billion, to be shared between the DoJ and the PNF. The Libor affair had also cost at the time his post to Didier Valet, the number two of the bank.

Since these two cases, the group has considerably strengthened its compliance programs to prevent any possible violation of regulations, in the United States and around the world. Heavy investments have been made and the compliance workforce has tripled.

The complete lifting of the proceedings in these various cases should also allow Societe Generale to make significant savings: the placing under surveillance indeed involved surrounding himself with a battalion of lawyers and advisers of all kinds who could turn out to be very expensive.

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