Deutsche Bank searched in potential money laundering case

The raid relates to ‘reports made by the bank of suspected money laundering,’ the lender said in a statement. ‘Deutsche Bank is cooperating fully with authorities.’
Image: Bloomberg

Deutsche Bank AG’s offices in Frankfurt are being searched by law enforcement authorities after the lender flagged potential money laundering.

Officials from the Frankfurt prosecutors office, regulator BaFin and Germany’s BKA federal police are involved in the raid, according to a spokeswoman for the prosecutors. The searches are taking place following a decision by a Frankfurt court.

The raid relates to “reports made by the bank of suspected money laundering,” the lender said in a statement. “Deutsche Bank is cooperating fully with authorities.”

Shares of the lender fell as much as 3.3% as the search adds to a growing list of legal and regulatory issues hanging over Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing just as he emerges from a successful restructuring. The US last month extended a monitorship after finding Deutsche Bank breached a deferred prosecution agreement after it was slow in reporting allegations by a whistleblower.

Deutsche Bank was previously raided in 2018 in connection with suspected money laundering. Video footage of some 170 law enforcement officials descending on the offices spooked investors at the time. The bank was ordered to pay 15 million euros ($16 million) in that case for failing to flag suspicious transactions and lacking oversight.

Other legal and regulatory challenges include an internal probe into staff’s widespread use of private communication channels, a lawsuit alleging mis-selling of foreign-exchange derivatives, and criticism from US and German regulators of the bank’s deficient controls.

A BaFin spokesman declined to comment on the search while the BKA didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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