Deutsche Warns Corporate Clients of Potential Account Closures: Report
13 Jun 2019

Deutsche Bank has notified nearly 1,000 blue-chip companies that it will terminate their corporate accounts within weeks if they do not send documents verifying their identities, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.

The lender issued the termination letters as part of a broader effort to shore up its anti-money laundering (AML) controls in the wake of recently uncovered compliance lapses, according to the newspaper, which cited individuals familiar with the matter.

The letters inform the clients that, absent the requested documentation, they will no longer have access to basic banking services, including the signing of new contracts that offer escrow, syndicated loans, structured finance and other products, according to the report.

The potential account closures are slated to begin by the end of the month and will not impact corporate clients that are currently contracted for such services, the letters state.

The step follows supervisory findings in Germany and the UK that Deutsche Bank has fallen short of meeting its AML obligations in recent years.

In February, the German lender found itself in the middle of Europe’s biggest money laundering scandal after leaked documents indicated that it had processed €160 billion in suspicious payments for clients of Danske Bank’s Estonian unit. The payments are believed to be linked to a Russian money laundering operation that funneled dirty money into Europe.

Earlier this week, the Financial Times reported that Deutsche Bank had uncovered serious flaws in its screening of cheques and high-value electronic payments and has yet to resolve critical failures that could result in AML-related monetary penalties. Bank employees believe the lapses went unnoticed for years, the FT said.

Photo (cropped): © Traumrune / via Wikimedia Commons

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