A $10 billion fine would wipe out BNP's projected 2014 earnings and put the bank's dividend under pressure, SocGen analysts estimated last month. It would also hit BNP's core equity tier one ratio, a measure of a bank's ability to endure stress and market shocks, forcing it down around 100 basis points from the current 10.6 percent, the analysts added.
Sources familiar with the matter say the U.S. authorities are trying to establish whether the bank stripped out identifying information from wire transfers so they could pass through the U.S. financial system without raising red flags.
"What is being criticized by the U.S. authorities is the violation of a strictly American law. The same acts committed in France in euros would not have been reprehensible," Sapin said.
"That said, it is the American law, it should have been respected".