French bank warns of possible hit from US fine

PARIS (AP) — BNP Paribas says it may face fines far higher than the $1.1 billion it set aside last year after the French bank became the subject of a U.S. investigation into alleged financial wrongdoing.

In a statement Wednesday Paris-based BNP Paribas, one of Europe's largest banks, says "there is the possibility that the amount of the fines could be far in excess" of the provision. The bank is one of several that have held talks with U.S. regulators about payments to countries, people or entities that may have breached U.S. sanctions.

BNP Paribas' shares fell 4 percent Wednesday on the Paris stock exchange following the news, which came alongside the group's first quarter results. Two years ago, HSBC agreed to pay almost $2 billion to settle a similar case.

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