Hollande made BNP Paribas plea to Obama in April: Elysee

France, trying to minimise US penalties against BNP Paribas on charges of breaking sanctions, said that a reported $10 billion fine was excessive and warned it could damage trans-Atlantic trade talksFrench President Francois Hollande has already written to US President Barack Obama in defence of BNP Paribas bank, threatened with huge sanctions on charges of embargo breaches, Hollande’s office said on Wednesday. In a statement before Hollande and Obama meet for dinner, the Elysee Palace said that two months ago the French president urged Obama to take account of what it described as “disproportionate” penalities being lined up to hit the bank. These penalties, which could also include action crimping the bank’s ability to provide services in dollars, are reported to amount to more than $10 billion (7.4 billion euros) on charges that BNP broke US sanctions against Iran, Sudan and Cuba between 2002 and 2009. A diplomatic source said that the threat hanging over the bank would would be one of the issues Hollande will raise when he meets Obama for the dinner, against the background of D-Day World War II celebrations.

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