Italy’s top bank UniCredit SpA and two subsidiaries have agreed to pay $1.3 billion to U.S. authorities to settle probes of violations of US sanctions on Iran and other countries, US authorities said.
In addition, UniCredit Bank AG, the bank’s German unit, agreed to plead guilty to federal and New York state criminal charges for illegally moving hundreds of millions of dollars through the US financial system on behalf of sanctioned entities, the US Department of Justice and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said.
The resolution ends a six-year investigation that has hung over the bank and follows last week’s $1.1 billion settlement by London-based Standard Chartered Plc with US and British authorities over similar conduct.
The German unit’s guilty pleas are connected to violations of US sanctions programs, including those related to IRISL, the state-owned Iranian shipping company sanctioned over weapons of mass destruction, authorities said.
UniCredit’s German unit went to “great lengths” to help the Iranian shipping company evade sanctions and access the US financial system, said US Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski.
Another unit, UniCredit Bank Austria AG , entered into non-prosecution agreements with federal and state authorities.
UniCredit Bank AG, Bank Austria and their parent entity, UniCredit SpA, also agreed to resolve parallel investigations with the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, and the New York Department of Financial Services.