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BNP Paribas senior adviser departure likely in settlement: source

By Karen Freifeld

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A senior adviser to BNP Paribas is likely to leave as part of a settlement involving sanctions violations by the French bank, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York's Department of Financial Services, is seeking the removal of Vivien Levy-Garboua, a senior adviser and formerly the head of compliance for the French bank, the source said.

A spokeswoman for BNP Paribas did not immediately return a call for comment. Levy-Garboua did not respond to an email after normal business hours. A spokeswoman for Lawsky did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lawsky has been targeting more than a dozen employees for departure as part of the settlement talks, including BNP Paribas Chief Operating Officer Georges Chodron de Courcel, a person familiar with the matter previously told Reuters.

U.S. authorities are probing whether BNP evaded U.S. sanctions relating to Sudan and other countries primarily between 2002 and 2009, and whether it stripped out identifying information from wire transfers so they could pass through the U.S. financial system without raising red flags.

Lawsky is one of numerous authorities involved in the probe of the bank. U.S. prosecutors have been pushing the bank to plead guilty to criminal charges as part of a resolution, sources have said.

In addition, a settlement includes the possibility of a fine of around $10 billion, sources familiar with negotiations have said.

Lawsky has threatened to suspend the bank's dollar-clearing business as one condition for not taking away its license to operate on Wall Street, people familiar with the talks have said previously.

Bank of France Governor Christian Noyer said Wednesday the possibility that BNP Paribas could be suspended from clearing clients' dollar transactions could be disruptive to the international financial system.

(Reporting by Karen Freifeld in New York; additional reporting by Nate Raymond; Editing by Prudence Crowther)

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