Criminal charges for banks coming

|By:, SA News Editor

Confronting the belief that the big banks are too big to charge, federal prosecutors have met with regulators about how to criminally punish lenders without putting them out of business, reports the NYT.

Credit Suisse (CS) and BNP Paribas (BNPQF, BNPQY) are looking like test cases, with prosectors seeking guilty pleas - from Credit Suisse on aiding tax evasion and from BNP for doing business with blacklisted sweethearts like Sudan.

The new push comes after the outcry when HSBC two years ago somehow escaped criminal charges and paid just a relatively small fine over laundering money for years for drug gangs and terrorists.

Earlier today, BNP said the $1.1B it has set aside for fines over sanction violations may not be nearly enough. It's lower by 3.9% in Paris.