U.S. Begins Settlement Talks With Commerzbank : Reports

US authorities have begun settlement talks with German lender Commerzbank AG (CRZBY.PK), over its alleged dealings with Iran and other countries blacklisted by the United States, according to media reports citing people familiar with the matter.

Commerzbank may incur penalties of at least $500 million as part of a deferred-prosecution agreement with authorities as soon as summer in the U.S., the reports said.

Bloomberg reported that the probe is part of a U.S. crackdown on financial institutions for handling funds linked to blacklisted nations that led to a record $8.9 billion fine against French lender BNP Paribas SA (BNP.L,BNPQY.PK), Crédit Agricole SA (CRARF.PK) and Societe Generale SA (SCGLF.PK,SCGLY.PK), German lender Deutsche Bank AG (DB) and Italian banking giant UniCredit SpA (UNCFF.PK) are among other lenders being investigated by U.S. authorities.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office is reportedly working with the Justice Department, New York's banking regulator and the Federal Reserve on the Commerzbank investigation.

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