Credit Suisse, BNP ask U.S. authorities for leniency in probes: NYT

Mon May 12, 2014 6:16am EDT
 
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(Reuters) - BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse Group have appealed to U.S. authorities to allow their local subsidiaries, rather than the parent companies, to plead guilty to criminal charges they face in the United States, the New York Times reported, citing people briefed on the talks.

Prosecutors are investigating BNP over allegations that it violated U.S. sanctions against Iran and other countries, and are conducting a probe of Credit Suisse over allegations that it helped wealthy Americans evade U.S. taxes.

The newspaper said prosecutors appeared to balk at the overtures for leniency. (r.reuters.com/bab39v)

The banks are concerned that criminal charges against the parents could imperil their larger operations.

Julia Boyce, a spokeswoman for BNP Paribas in Paris, declined to comment on the report.

Representatives of Credit Suisse and the U.S. Department of Justice were not immediately available.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a video last week that the DoJ was pursuing criminal investigations of financial institutions that could result in action in the coming weeks and months, and that no company was "too big to jail".

Two people with knowledge of the matter also told Reuters last week that prosecutors have been pushing for Credit Suisse to plead guilty in connection with the probe.

A source told Reuters that the bank was in talks to pay as much as $1.6 billion to resolve the investigation.   Continued...

 
The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen at an an office building in Zurich May 9, 2014. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann