Legal and bank analysts reacted with caution and criticism Monday to Attorney General Eric Holder's signaling of potential criminal charges against global banks Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas.
The response came after Holder, speaking in a video posted on the Department of Justice website, warned, "There is no such thing as too big to jail.
"Some have used that phrase to describe the theory that certain financial institutions, even if they engage in criminal misconduct, should be considered immune from prosecution due to their sheer size and their influence on the economy," said Holder. "But, when laws appear indeed to have been broken, and the evidence supports the allegations, a company's size will never be a shield from prosecution or penalty."
Holder identified no targets. But a Department of Justice official confirmed that prosecutors are nearing completion of investigations that would likely produce criminal charges against Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas, one of France's largest banks.