BNP Paribas fined over weaknesses in anti-money laundering controls

A man is seen in silhouette as he walks behind the logo of BNP Paribas in a building in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris, France, April 5, 2017. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - French bank watchdog ACPR said it had fined BNP Paribas 10 million euros ($11.27 million) for inadequate anti-money laundering controls.

The penalty followed a 2015 inspection of the bank which revealed a number of shortcomings in its provisions for preventing money laundering and financing of terrorism, ACPR said in a statement.

French authorities have been leading a crackdown in these areas after a series of Islamist attacks in recent years.

BNP declined to comment on whether it would contest the decision or pay the fine. The bank has two months to appeal against the decision.

The ACPR said that at the time the bank did not have enough staff dedicated to spotting and notifying suspicious transactions and inefficient tools for detecting unusual customer transactions.

The watchdog said that the fine takes into account the seriousness of the shortcomings and importance of BNP - given its size - in passing on information to the French finance ministry Tracfin unit, which focuses on preventing money laundering and terrorism financing.

In 2014, U.S. authorities fined BNP almost $9 billion over accusations that it violated U.S. sanctions against Sudan, Cuba and Iran.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas, Maya Nikolaeva and Geert De Clercq. Editing by Jane Merriman and Adrian Croft