Wednesday, July 27, 2011

ING says could face fines following U.S. investigation

ING says could face fines following U.S. investigation
AMSTERDAM, July 27 | Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:24am EDT

(Reuters) - Dutch bancassurer ING Group NV repeated that it could face
"significant" fines due to a U.S. investigation of operations in
countries which are under sanctions by U.S. authorities, such as Iran
and Cuba.

The United States imposes economic sanctions and export controls on
Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria, viewing them as state sponsors of terrorism
and limiting the scope for companies to do business there.

"We don't know how the investigations in the U.S. will pan out and
cannot estimate what the fines, if any, will be. Fines could be
significant. We are co-operating fully with U.S. authorities," an ING
spokesman said.

The fine could be for several hundreds of millions of dollars, Dutch
daily Het Financieele Dagblad reported, citing a source close to the
Dutch bank.

ING said in its 2010 annual report, published in March, that it was in
discussions with the U.S. authorities, including the Office of Foreign
Asset Control, the U.S. Department of Justice and the New York County
District Attorney's Office, and that fines, if any, could be significant.

A U.S. judge last August approved a $298 million settlement by British
bank Barclays Plc over charges that it had violated U.S. trade sanctions
by doing deals in Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Myanmar.

Credit Suisse Group AG , Lloyds Banking Group Plc and ABN AMRO have
agreed to U.S. settlements ranging between $350 million and $538 million
due to charges of violating U.S. sanctions. (Reporting by Greg
Roumeliotis and Gilbert Kreijger; Editing by Sara Webb and David Holmes)

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