The Federal Reserve said
Deutsche Bank AG
In recent weeks, according to people familiar with the matter, the lender has not addressed persistent flaws in its anti-money laundering controls.
The Fed’s frustration has escalated to the point where the bank could be fined, people said.
Deutsche Bank has invested tremendous resources in addressing repeated deficiencies and penalties related to authorizing suspicious transactions. The Fed told Deutsche Bank that the German lender with a large presence on Wall Street is not making progress, it is making progress. The regulator has stated that some of the anti-money laundering issues require immediate attention, according to the population.
A spokesman for Deutsche Bank said the bank was not commenting on the dialogue with regulators. A Fed spokesman declined to comment.
The Fed’s harsh words contrast with the bank’s message that it has worked diligently to improve its systems and has brought most of the legal issues into the past.
The Fed’s latest warning comes four years after it classified Deutsche Bank’s US operations as in “restless state”, a rare reprimand for a major bank. In May 2020 it is issued a new admonition through the bank’s money laundering controls.
In 2020, Deutsche Bank also agreed with the New York Treasury Department on the bank’s role as the correspondent bank in one of Europe’s largest money laundering scandals Improper supervision of its business with the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
In 2017 the Fed Deutsche Bank fined $ 41 million for failure to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program.
Deutsche Bank is Germany’s largest lender and, as a US dollar clearing bank regulated by the Fed, an important player in global financial transactions.
Banks need to monitor the way money flows through their networks to protect themselves from the proceeds of criminal activity in the economy. They need to know who their customers are and flag transactions that alert authorities to potentially illegal activity.
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Deutsche Bank’s financial health has improved after starting an overhaul in 2019 to drastically cut costs and exit some businesses, including US stocks strongest quarter in seven years.
On Thursday, representatives from Deutsche Bank expressed optimism at the bank’s annual general meeting, saying the lender had found its booth and was regaining confidence in the market. She also said she wanted to play an active role in banking consolidation in Europe.
“The way people see our bank has changed fundamentally,” said CEO Christian Sewing in a speech.
Mr Sewing told shareholders that the bank “has significantly strengthened our control systems” but added that “we are also aware of areas where we need to improve”, including its efforts to fight financial crime.
The bank has tried to shake off its reputation for loose controls. In April, the German financial supervisory authority BaFin ordered the bank to take further steps to protect against money laundering. According to BaFin, Deutsche Bank has to comply with due diligence requirements, especially when it comes to regular customer reviews. It expanded the role of a monitor, which it appointed in 2018 to review implementation.
Following the BaFin mandate, Deutsche Bank announced that it had significantly improved its controls, spent around $ 2.4 billion and increased its anti-money laundering team to over 1,600 in the past two years. It admitted it had more work to do.
So Deutsche Bank remains under the supervision of external monitors Appointed by the New York Treasury in 2017 as part of the settlement of a “mirror trade” case in which the bank moved $ 10 billion in Russian customer money out of the country.
The Wall Street Journal reported Last November, observers were alarmed about a possible expansion of the bank’s activities in Russia. In October, they informed the bank that efforts to improve its business were not enough to offset the major risks of doing business with Russian clients and that the bank should stop doing business there instead.
Earlier this month, the bank appointed Joe Salama, its US General Counsel, who was responsible for negotiating the latest regulatory settlements with US authorities Head of the Global Fight Against Financial Crime Division. The move should improve the bank’s relationship with regulators, according to those familiar with the situation.
In contrast to his predecessor, who was based in Frankfurt, Mr. Salama will split his time between Germany and the USA
Problems of the Germans
More WSJ coverage of the controls and penalties selected by the editorial team to combat money laundering by Deutsche Bank.
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