The Federal Reserve Board has fined a French bank $100,000 for illegally accepting deposits in the United States.
Banque Worms, Paris, and Banque Worms Capital Corp., New York, agreed to pay the fine to settle charges that the parent corporation had accepted deposits even after formally relinquishing its U.S. banking license in 1987.
A Banque Worms official in New York declined to comment. But the Fed's order noted that the bank had accepted deposits upon the advice of its lawyers. Banque Worms also agreed to appoint an official to oversee a new compliance program. Finally, it agreed to conduct additional training and update financial reports filed with the Fed.
The French government nationalized Banque Worms in 1982 and then merged it three years later with Societe Centrale Union des Assurances de Paris, a state-owned insurance company with operations in the United States. Federal law prevents foreign banks from operating banking and insurance operations here. Banque Worms opted to relinquish its U.S. branch.