In an article today, the Wall Street Journal carries a lengthy report about BNP Paribas’ problems with the US Justice Department and regulators. It is an elaboration on former news, where the bank faces allegations of doing business with sanctioned entities, such as Iran or Cuba. In the time frame of 2 months, expectations about possible fines went from $1.1 billion, to $5 billion to now more than $10 billion. That is $10,000,000,000. The bank is expected to withstand that shock.
It is not clear yet if criminal charges or a guilty plea are considered. Though the mood is leaning more towards tougher punishments, and critics have coined the expression “too big to jail”, playing on the other idiomatic expression “too big to fail”.
The WSJ also reproduces the following graph of the most important fines financial institutions incurred for violating the OFAC sanctions list or other money laundering provisions.