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Harry Cassin
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After $9 billion sanctions fine, BNP replaces chief compliance officer

BNP Paribas SA said Jean Clamon, its top compliance officer since 2008, will retire this year.

Clamon, also a former chief operating officer, will be succeeded by Eric Martin, head of internal audit.

The bank on June 30 pleaded guilty and was fined $8.97 billion for banned transactions with countries including Sudan, Iran and Cuba.

BNP said it has budgeted $268 million to strengthen its compliance program.

According to the government’s statement of facts, BNP received internal warnings as early as August 2005 that it was evading U.S. sanctions in its dollar transactions with customers from Sudan.

The DOJ alleged the bank hid the names of Sudanese and Iranian clients when sending transactions through its New York operations and the larger U.S. financial system.

Senior executives including the chief operating officer repeatedly dismissed compliance officers’ concerns, the DOJ said.

Frank Roncey, head of retail and corporate risk management, will become the head of risk management, replacing Michel Konczaty, who was appointed deputy COO, the Paris-based bank told Bloomberg.

CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafe will oversee a new “supervisory and control committee” that will meet twice monthly to coordinate compliance, risk-management, internal audit, and legal teams.

BNP appointed Nathalie Hartmann to lead its remediation plan.

Gilbert Coulombel becomes head of internal audit, the bank said.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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  1. This shows how important "tone at the top" is in the ethical culture of companies.

  2. This report demonstrate the need for companies put more emphasis on ethics in its organizations culture reflecting the boards tone for compliance. Replacing compliance officials without a "tone at the top" commitment from the board will not work.

  3. The company pays the price for permitting poor corporate culture, but where is personal responsibility in this equation? Ethics ultimately comes down to individual choices – and it appears the individuals concerned here just get to walk away. #DeepPocketJustice ?

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