PARIS Aug 5 Credit Agricole said on
Tuesday that it was starting discussions with U.S. authorities
over possible sanctions breaches after France's third-biggest
listed bank completed an internal review of U.S. dollar
This signals progress in the negotiations a month after
France's biggest listed bank, BNP Paribas, pleaded
guilty on two criminal charges, accepted a ban on certain dollar
clearing activities and agreed to pay a total of $8.97 billion
to resolve accusations it violated U.S. sanctions against Sudan,
Cuba and Iran over a 10-year period up to 2012.
"We are entering the phase of explanations and discussions
with U.S. authorities with whom we have cooperated from the
start," Credit Agricole Chief Executive Jean-Paul Chifflet told
journalists after unveiling second-quarter earnings.
The bank said it had sent the results of its internal review
to the U.S. authorities.
Credit Agricole gave no details about its litigation
provisions, saying it considered them adequate. As of the end of
2013, Credit Agricole's total litigation provisions stood at 1.2
billion euros ($1.6 billion).
Credit Agricole had a significantly smaller amount of U.S.
dollar transactions involving countries under U.S. sanctions
than larger banks during the period from 2003 to 2008, Chifflet
Societe Generale, France's second-biggest bank, said last
week that it increased its litigation provisions by 200 million
euros to 900 million as of the end of June, without giving any
SocGen is in talks with the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets
Control in relation to U.S. dollar transfers it made on behalf
of entities based in countries subject to U.S. sanctions,
according to the bank's annual report.
(1 US dollar = 0.7450 euro)
(Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva and Matthias Blamont; Editing by