SocGen to pay $1.3 billion to settle Libya, Libor probes
05 Jun 2018

French bank Societe Generale will pay $1.3 billion (£976.3 million) to resolve criminal and civil charges in the United States and France for bribing Gaddafi-era Libyan officials and manipulating the Libor interest rate benchmark, U.S. authorities said on Monday.

The Paris-based bank is due to plead guilty in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York, to resolve the foreign bribery case, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Earlier on Monday, SocGen said it had agreed to pay 250 million euros (£219.6 million) to the French treasury as part of the overall U.S.-France settlement.

The resolution is the first coordinated between U.S. and French authorities in a foreign bribery case, the Justice Department said.

“Today’s resolution … sends a strong message that transnational corruption and manipulation of our markets will be met with a global and coordinated law enforcement response,” John Cronan, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said in a statement.

SocGen said in a statement that the settlement was “not expected” to affect its ability to continue serving clients and that it had taken extensive steps to strengthen its risk and compliance controls.

The bank said the total penalties were already covered by a previously booked provision of 2.3 billion euros ($2.7 billion).

The Justice Department penalties include a $585 million fine relating to a multi-year scheme to pay bribes to officials in Libya and $275 million for violations arising from its manipulation of Libor, the Justice Department said.
The London interbank offered rate, known as Libor, is used as a benchmark against which rates on hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of contracts and loans are set across the world.

Societe Generale bank also agreed with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates derivatives, to pay $475 million for rigging Libor.

SocGen’s agreement to pay 250 million euros to the French treasury brings the bank’s total settlement to $1.3 billion.

– By Karen Freifeld, Sudip Kar-Gupta, Reuters, 4 June 2018

Link to Reuters.

Image: By Societe Generale

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