PARIS, June 24 (Reuters) – A French criminal court on Thursday ordered investment bank Natixis (CNAT.PA) to pay a 7.5 million euros ($8.95 million) fine after finding the bank guilty of misleading investors in 2007 on its financial strength related to its sub-prime exposure.
Natixis denied any wrongdoing. Eric Dezeuze, a lawyer for the bank, said it was assessing a possible appeal with a decision to be taken within 10 days.
Natixis was among the French banks hit the hardest by the financial crisis in 2007, when bonds backed by low quality mortgages – dubbed sub-prime loans – collapsed, causing losses for many lenders as the fallout spread through financial markets.
Natixis was eventually rescued by its parent bank BPCE and was later restructured.
“Natixis did not simply make a mistake in evaluating its exposure, it intentionally misled the market”, the court ruled, saying that the bank’s communication was “unintelligible”.