Shares of BNP Paribas fall as risk of huge fines rise with US probe into financial wrongdoing

PARIS – Shares of BNP Paribas have fallen more than 5 per cent at the opening of trading in Paris on reports of possible huge fines over a U.S. investigation of alleged financial wrongdoing.

At mid-morning Friday, shares of the French bank, one of Europe’s largest, were trading at 49.93 euros ($67.96).

BNP Paribas is one of several banks that have held talks with U.S. regulators about payments to countries, people or entities that may have breached U.S. sanctions.

Last year, the bank set aside $1.1 billion after becoming the subject of the investigation, but a month ago raised the possibility that the amount of fines could be “far in excess.”

Two years ago, HSBC agreed to pay almost $2 billion to settle a similar case.