US authorities negotiating with BNP Paribas over alleged sanctions violations at one point suggested that France's biggest bank pay a penalty as high as $16bn, according to people familiar with the matter.
While the sources said that number was only proposed as a negotiating tactic in response to an offer from BNP of about $1 billion, the dollar figures being thrown around demonstrate what bankers and their allies say is an alarming trend of ever-increasing record penalties.
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