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U.S. investigates two French banks for sanctions violations -source

(Reuters) – U.S. authorities are investigating whether two French banks violated anti-money laundering rules and economic embargoes on countries like Iran, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

Regulators in New York and Washington are looking at potential violations by Credit Agricole and Societe Generale of U.S. economic sanctions imposed against the countries, the source said.

In addition to the Iran sanctions violations, the investigation is looking at whether the banks broke embargoes against Cuba and Sudan, according to the source.

The agencies involved include the U.S. Treasury Department, the Justice Department, the New York State Department of Financial Services and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, the source said.

Spokespeople from the district attorney’s office and the Treasury declined to comment.

SocGen disclosed in its latest annual report that it was engaged in discussions with the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control over potential sanctions violations and that it had conducted an internal investigation and was cooperating with U.S. authorities, a spokeswoman, Laetitia Maurel, said in an emailed response to Reuters request for comment.

Spokespeople from Credit Agricole did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Credit Agricole has also disclosed in its annual report that it is reviewing whether it violated U.S. sanctions.