March 12, 2015 / 5:17 PM / 3 years ago

Commerzbank 2014 profit plunges on U.S. settlement over Iran

FRANKFURT, March 12 (Reuters) - Commerzbank saw its 2014 net profit plunge to 264 million euros from a previously reported 602 million euros after it booked additional charges to complete a $1.45 billion settlement with U.S. authorities over alleged sanctions violations.

Commerzbank on Thursday said it would book an additional one-off charge of 338 million euros in the final quarter of 2014, charging the amount retroactively to its past fiscal year.

The bank agreed to fire five executives and pay $1.45 billion to resolve an investigation of its dealings with Iran and other sanctioned countries as well as a separate probe of its money laundering controls, the U.S. authorities said.

The bank previously reported a net profit of 602 million euros for 2014, warning at that time, however, that it could revise that number should it settle with U.S. officials. [ID: nL5N0VM0LY]

Commerzbank had set aside 1.4 billion euros in legal provisions by the end of 2014 in preparation for the U.S. cases.

Rising legal costs and investigations have threatened to stall a recovery plan that has seen Commerzbank emerge strong on an operating level from a state bailout.

Commerzbank had originally aimed to settle with U.S. regulators and prosecutors by the end of 2014 over its dealings with Iran and other countries under U.S. sanctions, in a deal previously expected to cost the bank about $650 million. (Reporting by Thomas Atkins; Editing by Jonathan Gould)

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