Banca Nazionale del Lavoro
Founded in 1913 as Istituto di Credito per la Cooperazione, it was nationalized in 1929. It was re-privatized and listed on the Milan Stock Exchange in 1998, before being acquired by French banking group BNP Paribas in 2006. As of November 2014, it is Italy's sixth largest bank.
Banca Nazionale del Lavoro began Argentinian operations in 1960, ultimately opening 91 branches, before selling its operation there to HSBC Bank Argentina in 2006.
The bank was involved in a major political scandal (dubbed Iraqgate by the media) when it was revealed in 1989 that the Atlanta, Georgia branch of the bank was making unauthorized loans of more than US$4.5 billion to Iraq. Many of the loans that the branch made were guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation program. The loans were originally intended to finance agricultural exports to Iraq, but were diverted by Iraq to buy weapons. The branch manager, Christopher Drogoul, indicated that the bank's headquarters office was aware of these loans, but senior bank official denied this. Drogoul pleaded guilty to three felony charges and served 33 months in federal prison.
- "Lone Wolf Or a Pack of Lies?". TIME Magazine. 26 October 1992. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
- Official website (Italian)
- Transcript of U.S. Rep. Henry Gonzalez hearing on BNL connection to purchase of dual use equipment by Saddam Hussein
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