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"German lender Commerzbank AG will pay $1.45 billion in the U.S. to settle allegations of sanctions and money-laundering violations. The settlement resolves separate investigations by U.S. and New York state regulators and law enforcement, who were looking into allegations that Commerzbank violated laws barring transactions on behalf of Iran, Sudan, Cuba and Myanmar, and had abetted a multibillion-dollar securities fraud at Japan-based Olympus Corp. Documents released Thursday as part of the settlement show years of wrongdoing at Commerzbank that continued despite warnings from managers inside the bank. Commerzbank processed thousands of transactions, over the course of several years, through U.S. financial institutions involving sanctioned parties, and engaged in practices, such as stripping out identifying information, that prevented the payments from being blocked, the documents show. The bank admitted Thursday in a deferred-prosecution agreement that its conduct continued even though senior management warned that the bank's practices for Iranian clients 'raised concerns.'" (Wall Street Journal, Commerzbank Settles U.S. Allegations of Sanctions, Money-Laundering Violations, 3/12/15)
"Commerzbank AG, Germany's second-largest lender, will pay at least $1.4 billion to settle federal and state claims that it violated U.S. sanctions, a person briefed on the matter said. The settlement, part of a deferred-prosecution agreement that would also resolve a separate money-laundering matter, may come as soon as this month, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions aren't public... The accord is the latest settlement with a global bank over dealings with blacklisted countries, including Iran and Sudan. In June, BNP Paribas SA pleaded guilty to violating U.S. sanctions laws and agreed to pay a record $8.9 billion to resolve the case." (Bloomberg, Commerzbank Said to Near $1.4 Billion U.S. Settlement, 3/5/15)
"Commerzbank AG's expected settlement with authorities over alleged violations of U.S. sanctions and anti-money laundering laws is likely to exceed $1 billion (636.42 million pounds) in penalties, according to a person familiar with the probes. The settlement is still being negotiated, and a deal before the end of the year is unlikely, two sources said. Margarita Thiel, a spokeswoman for Commerzbank, Germany's second-largest lender, declined to comment. Commerzbank was close to an agreement in September with U.S. prosecutors and regulators over its dealings with Iran and other countries subject to U.S. sanctions, Reuters has reported, citing sources." (Reuters, "Commerzbank settlement with U.S. likely to exceed $1 billiion - source," 12/11/14)
“German lender Commerzbank AG is expected to pay between $600 million and $800 million to resolve investigations into its dealings with Iran and other countries under U.S. sanctions, sources familiar with the matter said. The penalty, previously reported to be more than $500 million, includes a demand from New York's top banking regulator, Benjamin Lawsky, for more than $300 million from the bank, the sources said… Among the violations being investigated are Commerzbank's transactions for the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, one of the sources said. The state-sponsored shipping company was designated for economic sanctions by the United States in 2008 for allegedly supporting Iran's proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The source said Commerzbank was alleged to have done business with the company despite knowing that it was sanctioned.” (Reuters, "Exclusive: Commerzbank may pay $600 million-$800 million to settle U.S. probe - sources," 7/9/14)
“State and federal authorities have begun settlement talks with Commerzbank, Germany’s second-largest lender, over the bank’s dealings with Iran and other countries blacklisted by the United States, according to people briefed on the matter. The bank, which is suspected of transferring money through its American operations on behalf of companies in Iran and Sudan, could strike a settlement deal with the state and federal authorities as soon as this summer, said the people briefed on the matter, who were not authorized to speak publicly… The contours of a settlement, which the authorities have only begun to sketch out, are expected to include at least $500 million in penalties for Commerzbank, the people added.” (New York Times, "U.S. Scrutiny for Banks Shifts to Commerzbank and Germany", 7/7/14)
“As part of talks in Geneva over the nuclear question, Tehran is pressing world powers to speed up trade finance arrangements on humanitarian deals involving both Western and Iranian banks, according to an Iranian government document seen by Reuters and sources familiar with the initiative. Iranian government officials and international trade sources say Tehran wants to simplify complex trade finance arrangements potentially worth billions of dollars, which would alleviate pressure on the country's sanctioned banking system…Iranian government officials said the document, which has been sent to Iran's Supreme National Security Council, tasked with safeguarding Tehran's interests, listed the following banks as ‘available for further actions’: Standard Chartered Bank (London), Societe Generale (Paris), Banque de Commerce et de Placements (BCP) (Geneva), UniCredit Bank (Munich), Commerzbank (Frankfurt), United Bank (Zurich) and BHF Bank (Frankfurt). It was not clear whether these banks had been approached to provide finance. Two business executives familiar with the initiative said they were aware that Standard Chartered, Societe Generale, Commerzbank were among those on the wish list. Commerzbank, Societe Generale, United Bank and BCP all declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Standard Chartered said the bank was not involved and would not get involved in any transaction with any party from Iran.” (Reuters, “Western banks cold-shoulder Iran trade finance scheme,” 3/13/14)
“The broader banking sanctions still in place [under the interim deal] are creating some ambiguities. The senior banker said Iranian authorities told businessmen that seven European banks including Commerzbank and Société Générale had been designated to transfer the $4.2bn in blocked funds but 'some kind of dilemma' remained over which Iranian banks could receive the money as most are affected by the broader banking sanctions still in place.” (Financial Times, “Easing of sanctions raises hopes for Iranian economy,” 1/19/14)
"Several other banks - including Deutsche Bank, Germany's second biggest lender Commerzbank, UniCredit's German unit HVB, and French banks BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole - have said they have received inquiries from U.S. authorities or are reviewing transactions to check whether they are potentially in breach of U.S. sanctions, suggesting any investigations are at an early stage." (Reuters, "Analysis: StanChart hit may not dog other banks as much as feared," 9/4/2012)
"President Barack Obama signed into law new sanctions on Iran that, for the first time, will bar from the American market foreign companies that work with Iranian businesses charged with aiding Tehran's nuclear program and the suppression of democracy.
Among those that could face legal challenges and fines are Japan's Big Three banks—Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group Inc.—as well as European firms such as Commerzbank Bank AG and Deutsche Bank AG, all of whom have businesses inside Iran.
A spokesman for Commerzbank declined to comment on the effect of the law, saying the bank wasn't familiar with its details. He said Commerzbank has been reducing its exposure to Iran since 2007.
A recent report by Avi Jorisch, a former Treasury Department intelligence official, details how the Big Three Japanese banks, Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank continue to maintain bank accounts for Bank Sepah, Iran's oldest financial institution.
Bank Sepah has been blacklisted by both the U.N. and the U.S. in recent years for its alleged role in assisting Tehran's development of weapons of mass destruction.
Spokesman Reiner Rossman declined to comment on any relationship Commerzbank had or has with Bank Sepah."
(Wall Street Journal, "U.S. Adds Its Own Sanctions on Iran," 7/2/2010)
"Another step the Obama administration should take is to sustain American pressure on foreign banks and oil companies to halt their dealings with Irans energy sector. This effort has led such major firms as Germanys Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, Englands HSBC, Credit Suisse and Royal Dutch Shell to halt or limit their business with Iran." (The Baltimore Sun, "FACING THE IRANIAN THREAT," 12/9/08)
"U.S. outreach to foreign banks and to oil companies considering investing in Irans energy sector has reportedly convinced more than 80 banks and several major potential oil-field investors to cease all or some of their business with Iran. Among them: Germanys two largest banks (Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank), London-based HSBC, Credit Suisse, Norwegian energy company StatoilHydro, and Royal Dutch Shell."(The Wall Street Journal, "How To Put The Squeeze On Iran," 11/13/08)
"European giants HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse have pulled out of Iran while BNP Paribas, Commerzbank and Dresdner Bank have severely curtailed their business with the Islamic republic." (Gulf Daily News, "US imposes sanctions on major Iran banks," 10/26/07
"GIANTS WITH A FOOT IN TEHRAN: Total, Shell, Statoil, BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, MTN, UPS, Linde, Technip, Nokia, Ericsson, Peugeot, Renault, OMV, Societe Generale, ENI, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, Siemens, LG, Samsung, Bosch, Valeo, Nestle, Unilever, BAT, Japan Tobacco." (The London Times, "American pressure threatens UK firms," 5/27/06)
This vehicle wFinancial conglomerate that in 2010 was reported to maintain accounts for Bank Sepah, the U.S and U.N-sanctioned bank that assists Tehran’s development of weapons of mass destruction. ash system manufacturer lists an Iranian office on its website.