Published On: Thu, Dec 18th, 2014

Washington fines German bank for operations with Cuba

ipwe_BySFnpAHAVANA, Cuba - For the second time this year, the United States has imposed a billion-dollar fine on a European bank under its extraterritorial economic, commercial and financial embargo of Cuba. This time, Germany´s Commerzbank will have to pay US$1 billion for conducting financial operations with the island.

The measure is part of the US Department of the Treasury’s policy that penalises any bank that does transactions with Cuba through US subsidiaries.

According to an article recently published by the Financial Times, cited by Cuba’s Trabajadores newspaper, in September the German bank agreed to pay $650 million after being accused of conducting financial transactions with Cuba, Iran, Sudan and other countries under US sanctions.

However, the Department of Justice and the Fiscal Office in New York, the city where the bank’s subsidiary is based, decided to increase the fine to one billion dollars.

On June 30, Washington imposed a record $8.9 billion fine on France’s Paribas Bank for violating US sanctions against several countries, including Cuba.

Other European banks such as Germany’s Deutsche Bank, France’s Société Générale and Crédit Agricole, and Italy’s UniCredit SpA are also under the magnifying glass of an investigation by US authorities.

Germany’s Commerzbank, founded in 1870, has its headquarters in Frankfurt and at present it is considered the country’s second largest financial institution after the Deutsche Bank. It is also the fifth largest bank in the world, with subsidiaries in London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Brussels and New York.

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