Executive of French bank leaves amid U.S. probe

PARIS - A top executive at French bank BNP Paribas is leaving the company amid a trans-Atlantic dispute over a potential multi-billion-dollar U.S. fine for the bank's activities in Iran, Sudan and Cuba.

The bank said Thursday that Chief Operating Officer Georges Chodron de Courcel will retire in September. He is 64, and his term was to finish in 2016. The bank did not explain the reason for his departure.

French and U.S. media reports have said that U.S. banking regulators sought the departure of Chodron de Courcel and other executives as part of an investigation into BNP Paribas. The probe focuses on the bank's currency transactions through its New York office for clients in Iran, Sudan and Cuba in violation of U.S. trade sanctions.

The case has angered French authorities.