10 Dec 2019
Deutsche Bank AG said Friday it agreed to pay €15 million ($16.6 million) in penalties to end a probe into possible money-laundering and tax evasion involving German clients, closing an investigation that featured a high-profile raid of the bank’s Frankfurt headquarters in November 2018.
The bank and the Frankfurt public prosecutor’s office said in statements Friday afternoon that the settlement reflects shortcomings in Deutsche Bank’s compliance and filing of suspicious-activity reports involving German clients connected to offshore accounts from 2015 to 2018.
The Frankfurt prosecutor’s office said it closed its parallel criminal probe into two Deutsche Bank employees without bringing any action against them, citing a lack of evidence. The prosecutor’s office said last year it was investigating whether those and other employees improperly helped clients create offshore entities in tax havens, potentially facilitating money laundering.
The investigation had a “heavy impact” on Deutsche Bank last year, spokesman Joerg Eigendorf said in the bank’s statement. “It is true that the bank had weaknesses in its control environment in the past. We identified these weaknesses and we have addressed them in a disciplined manner.”
The prosecutor’s office praised the lender’s cooperation. It said authorities are still looking into Deutsche Bank’s role in a big money-laundering scandal that has rocked Denmark’s largest bank, Danske Bank. Deutsche Bank also faces other investigations, including in the U.S., into its past business with Danske. The bank has said it terminated its relationship with Danske in 2015 after seeing suspicious activity by its clients.
By Jenny Strasburg, The Wall Street Journal, 6 December 2019
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