Write-off for US deal on Iran sanctions hit UniCredit profit

MILAN (AP) — Italian bank UniCredit has increased provisions to cover any settlement for alleged U.S. sanctions violations in Iran, a move that dropped third-quarter profits by 99 percent.

The bank said that net profits fell to 29 million euros ($33 million), from 2.8 billion euros in the same period last year, as it took a write-off of 741 million euros mostly to cover any potential settlement with the United States.

CEO Jean Pierre Mustier said settlement talks were still ongoing, but he expected no significant impact beyond the amount provisioned. UniCredit has been under investigation in the United States since 2012 over whether past operations involving Iranian companies were in breach of U.S. sanctions.

Excluding the provision and other charges, net operating profit rose 24 percent to 1.5 billion euros.