French banks hit with losses in US securities fraud

December 15th, 2008 - 6:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Paris, Dec 15 (DPA) French investment bank Natixis said Monday it could suffer “indirect” losses of up to 450 million euros ($605 million) as a result of the 450 billion securities fraud allegedly engineered by a leading Wall Street broker.On its web site, Natixis said it had made no investment for its own accounts with Madoff Investment Securities LLC, which was run by Bernard L Madoff, who is accused of running an elaborate securities swindle.

But Natixis said it was exposed indirectly because several of its clients had entrusted the Madoff’s firm with securities.

“Natixis does not have direct exposure and evaluates its maximum indirect exposure at about 450 million euros,” the company said.

On Sunday, French bank BNP Paribas announced that it could lose up to 350 million euros as a result of Madoff’s activities.

Another large French bank, Societe Generale, said Monday it had suffered only “negligible” losses in the fraud. In a statement the bank said its exposure was “below 10 million euros.”

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