Breaking the bank?

Bank settlements 2018
Bank settlements 2018
Kewen Chen
New York state bank settlements, 2012-2018

Breaking the bank?

New York’s bank settlements, year by year
February 9, 2018

Every year, the state Department of Financial Services rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars in financial settlements when they slap penalties on firms that are breaking the law. What may be bad news for those companies is good news for the state’s bottom line, especially this year when the state has an expected $4.4 billion shortfall.

All of that money goes straight into the state’s general fund and then allocated to any number of projects or spending areas. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget includes what it calls “extraordinary monetary settlements,” which accounts for DFS’ biggest payouts since fiscal year 2015, along with a few from the state attorney general’s office. This year, it contains $702 million in new settlements, which Cuomo earmarked for specific projects. He proposed $125 million would go toward health care, $194 million into the New York City Subway Action Plan and the remaining $383 million for general operations.

However, since 2014, the amount of money coming from settlements has declined. Here’s a look at how much DFS has raised each year.

Total settlements, year by year:

2012: $340 million (1 settlement)

2013: $335 million (6 settlements)

2014: $3.98 billion (11 settlements)

2015: $2.48 billion (9 settlement)

2016: $660 million (7 settlements)

2017: $1.29 billion (14 settlements)

2018: $60 million (1 settlement)

Notable settlements:

2012 and 2014: Standard Chartered Bank, $640 million total

2013: Royal Bank of Scotland, $50 million

2014: BNP Paribas, $2.2 billion

2015: Commerzbank, $610 million

2016: Agricultural Bank of China, $215 million

2017: Deutsche Bank, $425 million 

2018: Western Union, $60 million 

Rebecca C. Lewis
is a staff reporter at City & State.