The Strategist

SocGen to pay over $ 1.3 billion to settle claims of US and French watchdogs

06/05/2018 - 14:32

Societe Generale SA (SG) has reached an agreement to pay more than $ 1.33 billion of fines. The agreement is related to negotiations with the regulators of the United States and France on settlement of cases in which the French bank was accused of manipulating the interbank market rates, as well as in illegal transactions involving Libyan counterparts, according to a report by the US Department of Justice.

Earlier it was reported that the agreement on the LIBOR manipulation was reached with the US Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC); within the framework of the Libyan case - with the US Justice Department and the French watchdog Parquet National Financier (PNF).

The bank will pay $ 585 million for the Libyan case, including € 250 million ($ 293 million) in favor of the PNF. The US Justice Department notes that this is the first case of a collective fine imposed by the regulators of France and the US in the case of bribes.

In addition, SocGen was fined $ 275 million for manipulating the LIBOR rate.

Earlier, the bank agreed to pay a fine of $ 475 million in favor of CFTC also in connection with attempts to manipulate the LIBOR rate. Total total fines amount to $ 1.335 billion.

Penalties that the bank will pay under the reached agreements will be completely covered by the reserves at its disposal. Thus, court expenses will not affect the bank’s financial results.
Shares of SocGen at during trades in Paris on Monday went up by 0.7%.

Earlier, the Financial Times reported that Societe Generale could unite with the Italian UniCredit.

According to the newspaper, management of the Italian bank has been discussing this idea for several months. Official applications and proposals to Societe Generale have not yet been made, but the members of the board of directors of SocGen are also studying the possibility of such a deal. Negotiations are at an early stage, the publication’s interlocutors emphasized.

One source added that the negotiating pace was influenced by the "volatile political situation in Italy", which slowed down the process for 18 months. "In addition to political instability in Italy and hostility towards foreigners owning or operating Italian companies, the merger of two creditors that are already considered systemically important can alert the regulator," the FT writes.

Societe Generale’s representative denied the message that the board of directors of the bank is in talks with UniCredit about a possible merger. A representative of the Italian bank declined to comment on this topic during an interview with the FT.

The newspaper notes that UniCredit occupies a leading position in the markets of Germany and Italy, the French group is particularly strong in the markets of Central Europe.