March 7, 2014 / 8:51 PM / 4 years ago

U.S. investigates two French banks for sanctions violations -source

NEW YORK, March 7 (Reuters) - U.S. authorities are investigating whether two French banks violated anti-money laundering rules and economic embargoes on countries like Iran, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

Regulators in New York and Washington are looking at potential violations by Credit Agricole and Societe Generale of U.S. economic sanctions imposed against the countries, the source said.

In addition to the Iran sanctions violations, the investigation is looking at whether the banks broke embargoes against Cuba and Sudan, according to the source.

The agencies involved include the U.S. Treasury Department, the Justice Department, the New York State Department of Financial Services and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, the source said.

Spokespeople from the district attorney’s office and the Treasury declined to comment. The banks did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Wall Street Journal reported the investigation on Friday.

Reuters reported in October that New York’s top financial services regulator, Benjamin Lawsky, had asked four European banks, including Credit Agricole and SocGen, to hand over details of their transactions with a Jordanian bank and documents related to Turkey’s Uzan family, which owes billions of dollars to Motorola Credit Corp.

Lawsky’s office has probed several other banks on anti-money laundering violations. It has reached settlements with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, which is owned by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc, and Standard Chartered over allegations that the banks violated economic sanctions against countries like Iran.

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