BNP asks to keep managing pension assets -U.S. official

BOSTON, July 1 Tue Jul 1, 2014 4:31pm EDT

BOSTON, July 1 (Reuters) - BNP Paribas has sought permission to continue to manage U.S. pension assets, a federal official in Washington said on Tuesday, a day after the French bank pleaded guilty to criminal charges.

BNP made its request to the U.S. Labor Department on Monday, said agency spokesman Michael Trupo. Under agency rules the guilty pleas could disqualify BNP as a "Qualified Professional Asset Manager" allowed to handle pension plan assets, unless it receives an exemption.

Along with the guilty pleas, BNP agreed to pay almost $9 billion to resolve accusations it violated U.S. sanctions against Sudan, Cuba and Iran.

Earlier this year the U.S. Justice Department won a guilty plea from another bank, Credit Suisse Group, for helping Americans evade taxes.

Like BNP, Credit Suisse has also sought an exemption from the Labor Department rules. Asked about the status of the requests, Trupo said via email that "We review exemption requests on a case-by-case basis and I do not have any estimates on when decisions will be made."

A spokesperson for BNP was not immediately available to comment. A Credit Suisse spokeswoman declined to comment. (Reporting by Ross Kerber; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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