Years of US fines over Iran loom for foreign banks

By REUTERS
September 2, 2012 15:57

 
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LONDON/FRANKFURT - For years, the United States struggled to get foreign bankers to comply with its effort to throttle Iran's economy - but a couple of billion dollars in fines, not to mention lurid headlines and talk of jail time, has suddenly got their attention.

A half-hearted shuffling forward to settle years-old claims of busting US sanctions on Tehran is becoming a stampede since Washington tightened rules to punish Iran's nuclear program and a new aggression among regulators so alarmed many banks that shareholders will be paying out billions more for years to come.

Deutsche Bank and Italy's Intesa San Paolo are among big names that may soon join the still short list of foreign banks that have so far paid more than $2.3 billion in fines; some still protest their innocence but have regarded the cash as the price of keeping access to the US market - and keeping executives out of court, or even jail.

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