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Saturday 22 October 2016

German bank identifies $10bn in suspect Russian trades

Gregory White

Published 23/12/2015 | 02:30

Deutsche Bank’s twin-tower headquarters in FrankfurtBank’s. Photo: Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank’s twin-tower headquarters in FrankfurtBank’s. Photo: Bloomberg

Deutsche Bank has identified as much as $4bn (€3.6bn) in suspicious transactions related to its Russian operations, in addition to $6bn in so-called mirror trades it is examining, said several people with knowledge of the bank's review.

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That means the Frankfurt-based bank flagged as much as $10bn in total trades that may not have been vetted for money laundering as clients moved money out of Russia. Among the previously unreported trades under scrutiny are ones that consistently went in the same direction - primarily buy orders, for example - sources said.

Germany's largest lender shared those findings with international authorities in September, according to two people familiar with the bank's report on the trades. US prosecutors were previously reported to be looking into whether Deutsche Bank's handling of the mirror trades may have violated US anti-money laundering rules. The US officials have also been made aware of the additional suspicious trades, said the people familiar with the matter.

While Russia's central bank levied a small fine on Deutsche Bank after looking into some of the bank's trading in the country, the US Justice Department's investigation continues. Should regulators find violations in laws or regulations, the overall tally of trades could be one factor in deciding an ultimate fine or penalty. US authorities declined to comment.

Deutsche Bank's internal review, conducted over the past year, came as many of the lender's other activities drew international scrutiny. The bank paid about $2.75bn to settle a US probe into sanctions violations and was investigated over rigged interest rates, admitting misconduct in both cases. (Bloomberg)

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