French bank slapped with $81 million fine for violating U.S. sanctions against Cuba

A fine of more than $81 million was assessed against a French bank Monday by the Federal Reserve for violations of U.S. sanctions against Cuba.

In a release, the Federal Reserve said a fine of $81.3 million was assessed for “unsafe and unsound banking practices” against Société Générale S.A. of Paris. More specifically, the central bank said the bank was fined for “having insufficient policies and procedures to ensure that the activities conducted at its offices outside of the United States complied with U.S. sanctions laws.”

The Fed said its order requires Société Générale to implement an enhanced program to ensure global compliance with U.S. sanctions administered by the U.S. of Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

The order also prohibits Société Générale, the Fed said, from re-employing individuals involved in past actions or retaining them as consultants or contractors. The bank will also be required “to fully cooperate, and provide substantial assistance, in any ongoing investigations related to the individuals involved in the misconduct in this case.”

The Fed said its order is being taken in conjunction with actions by the Department of Justice, OFAC, the New York County District Attorney’s Office, and the New York Department of Financial Services for violations of U.S. sanctions requirements and various New York state laws. The penalties issued by all of the agencies total $1.34 billion, the Fed said.

Federal Reserve Board fines Société Générale S.A. $81.3 million for firm’s unsafe and unsound practices primarily related to violations of U.S. sanctions against Cuba