Daiwa Bank Ltd.'s decision to plead guilty to 16 criminal charges and pay $340 million in fines should send a clear signal that banks will pay dearly if they try to deceive federal regulators, lawyers said.

"The government has certainly sent a message to the banking industry, foreign and domestic, that they are not going to take this any more," said Stanley A. Twardy, the former U.S. Attorney for Connecticut who is now a partner at Day, Berry & Howard in Stamford, Conn.

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