NY nets more in bank fees

Jul 11, 2014

Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York Department of Financial Services, speaks to business leaders on Long Island. Lawsky has so far collected $4.6 billion in bank fines.
Credit Charles Lane

The amount of money New York State is receiving in penalties levied against banks is increasing. In the last three months, state coffers have added more than $4.6 billion in bank fines.

The bulk of the money comes from a record settlement against BNP Paribas, a French bank that admitted to violating US sanctions against Iran, Sudan, and Cuba. It was first reported that New York would receive $2.2 billion, but that number ticks up by another billion because New York City will be giving a portion of its penalty to the state.

Add to that a $300 million fine expected against the German Commerzbank, also for sanctions violations. Sources indicate several other foreign banks are under similar scrutiny.

State lawmakers are busy looking for ways to spend the newfound money. Republicans want to eliminate a number of taxes, while Democrats are eyeing increased education funding and more money for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.