Prosecutors search Deutsche Bank headquarters in money laundering investigation

A picture of the headquarters of Germany’s Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, September 21, 2020. (Reuters) / Ralph Orlovsky / File Photo

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  • The financial regulator and the Federal Police are also involved
  • The bank was trying to clean up the reputation
  • Involves the potential late reporting of suspicions – Source
  • stock fall

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Prosecutors, federal police and other officials have searched Deutsche Bank. (DBKGn.DE) Headquarters in Frankfurt on Friday in a move Germany’s largest bank said was linked to a suspected money laundering reported by authorities.

Under CEO Christian Swing, Deutsche Bank has been trying to repair its reputation after a series of embarrassing and costly regulatory failures, including another money laundering raid in 2018.

Deutsche Bank said in a statement that the search related to suspicious transactions that it had transmitted to the authorities and that it was cooperating fully.

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A person familiar with the matter said the dispute was whether or not Deutsche Bank filed a so-called suspicious activity report in a timely manner. The person said Deutsche was acting as a correspondent banker on the deal.

Prosecutors said they had a search warrant but declined to provide further details. They said representatives from the financial watchdog BaFin were also involved.

BaFin and the Federal Police declined to comment.

The bank’s shares fell more than 3% following the research news and were down 0.4% in Frankfurt by 1500 GMT.

Money laundering problems have flooded the bank in the past.

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In 2020, Deutsche Bank was fined 13.5 million euros for late reporting of suspicious activities linked to potential money laundering.

The US Justice Department has also been investigating for years over trades that authorities said were used to launder $10 billion from Russia, which resulted in the German bank being fined about $700 million.

In 2018, BaFin took the unusual step of installing KPMG as a private monitor in Deutsche to oversee the progress of its money laundering controls.

Last year, BaFin ordered Deutsche to enact more safeguards to prevent money laundering, and the regulator expanded the auditor’s mandate.

Deutsche said it has boosted resources to combat money laundering.

This week, the bank reported a better-than-expected 17% increase in first-quarter profit as investment banking revenue rose, but it warned that the conflict in Ukraine could hurt annual earnings.

A Reuters witness said there was no sign of authorities outside the bank’s headquarters on Friday.

This contrasts with the 2018 raid when about 170 police and other officials arrived in cars with blue and gray signs.

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Additional reporting by Tom Sims, Frank Sebelt, and Reuters TV. Editing by Thomas Escritt, Sabine Wallrap and David Clarke

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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