French bank BNP Paribas disclosed it reached proposed settlements with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regarding alleged use of off-channel communications for business by employees.
Investigations by the regulators concerned “compliance with records preservation requirements relating to the use of unapproved electronic messaging platforms for business communications,” the bank said in its consolidated financial statements for the first half of 2023.
BNP Paribas Securities Corp. reached proposed settlements with the CFTC and SEC, while BNP Paribas SA reached a proposed settlement with the CFTC. The settlements are subject to final approval by the regulators.
The bank disclosed in a press release Thursday it set aside 125 million euros (U.S. $138 million) for litigation. It did not specify whether that reserve is for the pending SEC and CFTC settlements.
BNP Paribas declined to comment.
The SEC and CFTC combined to issue $2 billion worth of penalties against a dozen of the world’s largest financial institutions for improper use of off-channel communications by employees and related recordkeeping failures between December 2021 and September 2022. Smaller fines against HSBC and Scotiabank for similar misconduct were levied by the regulators in May.
The latest aftershocks from the crackdown have been stockholder lawsuits, including a suit filed against Bank of America last week.