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Proposed BNP settlement may harm former and current bankers

Depressed

BNP Paribas is reportedly close to inking a $9 billion settlement with regulators over its alleged dealings with sanctioned countries. For employees of the French bank, the ten-figure settlement isn’t nearly as important as the fine print.

As part of the arranged deal, which has still yet to be consummated, BNP will let go as many as 30 employees that were thought to be culpable for the bank’s behind-the-scenes dealings with the Iranians and Sudanese, as well as those who helped shade the transactions from U.S. authorities.

But, as the Wall Street Journal reported, most of those 30 employees, including Chief Operating Officer Georges Chodron de Courcel, are already on their way out. The real sub-header of the proposed agreement is BNP’s temporary ban on trading in U.S. dollars. While the full impact of that stipulation is still unclear, it’s likely to have a negative effect on client relationships and hundreds of employees.

Being unable to make U.S. dollar transactions won’t deprive BNP of a significant form of revenue, but it will prohibit the bank from offering a relatively routine and critical service to clients. Some may have to migrate to rival banks during the temporary ban, which will likely last several months, according to the Journal.

“When your client has to go to a rival bank to get the most basic banking service, even for a few months, you’ll lose them,” Fred Cannon, New York-based head of research at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc, told Bloomberg. “Not all, but some will take their business completely to that rival and not come back.”

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Quote of the Day: “People always make the mistake of thinking art is created for them. But really, art is a private language for sophisticates to congratulate themselves on their superiority to the rest of the world. As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance.” – Bill Watterson

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