Another European bank is facing a fine of more than US$1 billion from U.S. authorities in connection with alleged violations of U.S. financial sanctions.
The U.S. Treasury announced a combined US$1.3 billion settlement with Italian financial giant UniCredit Group and several federal and state government agencies to resolve investigations into alleged sanctions violations involving various countries, including Iran, Burma, Cuba, Libya, Sudan and Syria.
Along with the financial penalties, settlement agreements will require the bank to implement controls designed to minimize the risk of future violations.
U.S. authorities alleged that between January 2007 and December 2011, the bank processed more than 2,000 payments totalling more than US$500 million through financial institutions in apparent violation of multiple U.S. sanctions programs.
“UniCredit Group banks routed transactions through the United States in a non-transparent manner, when those payments would have been blocked or rejected if their true nature had been clear, in violation of multiple sanctions programs,” Sigal Mandelker, under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence with the U.S. Treasury, said in a statement.
Alongside the settlements with the Treasury, UniCredit also settled with the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, the New York County District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Financial Services of the State of New York.
Last week, U.S. and U.K. authorities also settled a case involving alleged sanctions violations with Standard Chartered, which saw it agree to pay US$1.1 billion.