BNP returns to profit after crippling US fines


BNP Paribas has returned to profit in the third quarter after a record fine for violating US sanction controls in Sudan, Iran and Cuba.

The $8.9bn fine from US regulators hurt the bank’s first half results, and it reported a record €4.32bn loss in the second quarter. BNP also faced a criminal charge as well as the fine for violating US sanction controls in Sudan, Iran and Cuba between 2002 and 2012 by handling transactions with the three countries.

The bank was also given a one-year ban on clearing some dollar transactions to start in January.

This was only the second quarterly loss in the history of the Paris-based lender, formed in 2000 in a merger of the formerly state-owned retail bank Banque Nationale de Paris and the investment bank Paribas. For the first half overall, pre-tax losses were €1bn.

Chief executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, who faces a challenge to restore the bank’s reputation, told the Financial Times:

“BNP Paribas Group delivered this quarter a very good overall performance thanks to its diversified business and geographic mix. The good sales and marketing drive confirms the loyalty of our institutional, corporate and individual clients.”