Speed Reads

Crime and punishment

Report: French bank BNP Paribas agrees to pay the U.S. record $9 billion fine

BNP Paribas, France's largest bank, is expected to plead guilty to a criminal charge in U.S. court on Monday and agree to pay a record $9 billion fine to U.S. regulators, Reuters reports. There may be other penalties, but BNP reportedly won't lose its license to do business in New York. The Justice Department accuses BNP of evading U.S. sanction from 2002 to 2009, mostly in Sudan.

BNP hasn't commented publicly on the case, but CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafe told staff on Friday, in a memo seen by Reuters: "I want to say it clearly here: we will receive a heavy penalty... However, the difficulties that we are currently experiencing must not affect our plans for the future." The stock market seems to agree. In early trading in Paris on Monday, BNP's stock price was up slightly.