June 4 BNP Paribas SA's alleged
violations of U.S. sanctions have raised questions within the
French bank as to whether the chairman and other top executives
should resign, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people
familiar with the matter.
A rift between the bank's traditionally cautious retail
division and the more aggressive investment bankers has deepened
recently as it emerged that U.S. authorities were pushing the
bank to pay more than $10 billion and plead guilty to criminal
charges to resolve investigations into the bank, the Journal
Cesaltine Gregorio, the bank's head of media relations for
Americas, declined to comment on the Journal report.
U.S. authorities are investigating whether BNP Paribas
evaded U.S. sanctions, mainly on Iran, Sudan and Syria, between
2002 and 2009.
Some executives believe BNP Paribas erred by doing business
with companies in countries subject to U.S. sanctions while
others say the bank is the victim of overzealous U.S.
authorities who are using the case to score political points,
the Journal said.
France has been protesting possible U.S. fines and French
President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday he will raise
concerns about the matter when he meets U.S. counterpart Barack
Obama later this week.
(Reporting By Sudarshan Varadhan)